Hamas Praises Celtic Glasgow Fans For Waving Palestinian Flags

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - AUGUST 17: The Palestinian flag is waved by fans during the UEFA Champions League Play-off First leg match between Celtic and Hapoel Beer-Sheva at Celtic Park on August 17, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images)
Steve Welsh/Getty

JAFFA, Israel – The Scottish football team Celtic Glasgow has won praise after its fans flew Palestinian flags during a Champions League match against Israel’s Hapoel Beersheba on Wednesday, in which the Israeli team was defeated 5 to 2.

Hamas officials acknowledged the Scottish club’s gesture, and so did many Arab social media users.

Hamas commander Izzat Risheq posted a picture of thousands of Celtic fans waving Palestinian flags, saying “a deep gratitude to the fans of Celtic Glasgow for siding with Palestine when playing against a Zionist team.”

Sami Abdel Ghaffar tweeted: “Allah, we are stuck between strangers siding with us and brothers who are killing us. Many thanks to the Scots who flew the Palestinian flag.”

A pro-Mubarak Egyptian user named Jamal wrote: “All the free men of the world take their hats off to you.”

I Am From the Gulf poured cold water on the celebration: “They did it to taunt the Israeli team so that they’ll be distracted, and not so much on behalf of our beloved Palestine.”

Prominent Palestinian columnist Abdel Bari Atwan wrote: “A forest of Palestinian flags filled the stadium of Celtic Glasgow during a match against an Israeli team. It’s a powerful message to the supporters of normalization, old and new.”

The Scottish team may be penalized by the European Football Association for this gesture, because political statements and demonstrations are not allowed during matches.

It should be noted that Hapoel Beersheba has two Arab players on its team, while Israeli footballer Nir Bitton is playing for Glasgow.

See video of the flag waving below:


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