A basketball match between Hapoel Jerusalem and AEK Athens in the Greek capital on Wednesday turned chaotic as local fans burned an Israeli flag, launched fireworks, and threw rocks at Israeli fans.
Banner Displaying Political Message
Images from the event depicted a banner hung on the stands, stating, “The capital of Palestine is Jerusalem,” referring to the historical conflict between Israel and Palestine over the holy city.
Injuries and Intimidation Amidst Chaos
A Hapoel Jerusalem official informed Channel 12 news that some fans sustained minor injuries during the incident. The game experienced a brief pause due to the fireworks, and police did not permit fans to exit the arena.
Accusations of Inadequate Security
The official described the situation as “unprecedented chaos and a failure of security.” Fans reported feeling intimidated by the officers, who allegedly acted aggressively towards them. Some attendees told the Kan public broadcaster that police made no effort to arrest the rioters.
Hostile Atmosphere from the Start
Tal Hakim, speaking to Kan, described a very hostile atmosphere against Israelis from the beginning of the game. He mentioned that there were “many Palestinian and Hezbollah flags and attempts to enter our stand and set the Israeli flag on fire.”