Israeli police violently cracked down on Palestinians in Jerusalem celebrating Morocco’s historic World Cup quarter-final victory against Portugal on Saturday evening.
Footage online showed Israeli forces armed with batons beating and dragging Palestinians celebrating the win outside the Old City’s walls.
Officers on horseback could also be seen aggressively dispersing Palestinians, including children.
Israeli forces have attacked Palestinian fans in Jerusalem who were celebrating Morocco’s win over Portugal. pic.twitter.com/58GBt3NLaN— Middle East Eye (@MiddleEastEye) December 10, 2022
Hundreds of Palestinians had gathered at the Old City’s Damascus Gate to celebrate Morocco’s 1-0 win in an act of Arab solidarity. The Damascus Gate is a traditional gathering spot for Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem, but Israeli authorities have been restricting their ability to gather there to socialise in recent months.
Palestinians held up Morocco flags, chanting “raise your hand and dance with us” while dancing dabke. One Moroccan flag was raised at the top of the historic gate.
Similar scenes were seen in Palestinian communities in Israel, the occupied West Bank and Gaza.
Palestine takes centre stage
Palestine took centre stage once again as Morocco players celebrated their victory in the World Cup in Doha with a Palestinian flag.
The win makes Morocco the first African and Arab side to reach a World Cup semi-final, but many have named Palestine the real winner, as its cause continues to take prominence in Qatar.
Not long after leaving the pitch, midfielder Abdelhamid Sabiri posted a photo on Instagram of himself with the Palestinian flag tied around his shoulders accompanied by a one-word caption: “Freedom”. Later he gave interviews to broadcasters at the game still wearing the flag.
With the Qatar World Cup the first to be held in an Arab country, Morocco has been backed by fans from Iraq to Algeria, who have cheered their progress into the semis.
Palestine, which did not qualify for the finals, has also seen notable support throughout the competition, especially among those from other Arab countries.
The grassroots support is juxtaposed against the normalisation deals recently signed with Israel by Morocco, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Sudan.
Israeli occupation forces suppressed on Saturday Palestinians celebrating Morocco’s victory over Portugal and qualifying for the semi-finals of the Qatar World Cup in the Bab al-Amoud area in occupied al-Quds.
الاحتلال الإسرائيلي يهاجم الجموع الفلسطينيّة المحتشدة في ساحة باب العمود في #القدس_المحتلة احتفاءً بتأهل المنتخب المغربي لدور نصف النهائي بعد فوزه على المنتخب البرتغالي في #كأس_العالم_قطر2022.#فلسطين #المغرب #المونديال_في_الميادين pic.twitter.com/6YFLpHCETn— قناة الميادين (@AlMayadeenNews) December 10, 2022
Celebrations spread across the Gaza Strip as well, rejoicing at the historic victory of the Moroccan national team.
احتفالات بني سهيلا - غزة pic.twitter.com/XrVImjlGjp— Atef Hajras 💎 (@atefhajrus) December 10, 2022
In Doha, the Moroccan national team players raised the Palestinian flag after their victory.
📸 - لاعبي منتخب المغرب يرفعون علم فلسطين بعد الانتصار التاريخي امام البرتغال 👏🏻🇲🇦🇵🇸 pic.twitter.com/yzBUBLpSxK— مساحة كأس العالم (@rm4space) December 10, 2022
Also, Moroccan national team player Abdelhamid Sabiri published his picture wearing the Palestinian flag to celebrate his country’s qualification to the World Cup semi-finals.
لاعب المنتخب المغربي عبدالحميد صبيري ينشر صورته مرتدياً علم فلسطين؛ احتفالاً بتأهل المغرب لنصف نهائي كأس العالم🇲🇦🇵🇸#المغرب_البرتغال #QatarWorldCup2022 #فريق_مجاهدون pic.twitter.com/bMrOrrFooC— Saja🇵🇸 (@saja551996) December 10, 2022
Source: News Agencies and social media.