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Pro-Palestinian protestors attack Israeli players on pitch in Austria

Jul 24, 2014, 8:23 AM EDT

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War knows few boundaries, and a select group of Pro-Palestinian protestors ignored both the physical and metaphorical lines of sport when they attacked players from the strong Israeli club Maccabi Haifa during a Wednesday friendly against Lille in Austria.

As evidenced by the photo at right and video below, it went well beyond a symbolic pitch invasion. Thirty-year-old Israeli international defender Eyal Meshumar took a kick to the chest.

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The Daily Mail posted a number of surreal photos from the event, and some awful claims are coming out of Europe:

From the Jerusalem Post:

Maccabi Haifa’s pre-season match against French club Lille in Austria had to be abandoned in the 85th minute on Wednesday after pro-Palestinian protesters stormed the pitch and confronted the players.

Punches and profanities were exchanged between the handful of youngsters, who waved Palestinian and Turkish flags throughout the match, and the Haifa players, who were mainly stunned by the scenes.

The security stewards on hand were slow to react, but ultimately the situation calmed down, with several of the protesters being escorted out of the stadium and the Haifa players leaving the pitch unscathed.

The contentious issues in Israel continue to boil over into other parts of the world, and here’s some background from the BBC:

Israel launched a military offensive on 8 July, with the declared objective of stopping rocket fire from Gaza.

At least 649 Palestinians and 32 Israeli soldiers, plus three Israeli civilians, have been killed in the past 15 days of fighting, officials say.

Separately on Wednesday, a court in France jailed three men for rioting after a pro-Palestinian rally in a mixed suburb of Paris degenerated into anti-Semitic violence.

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls condemned the violence, which erupted at a protest over Israel’s actions in Gaza.

Here’s how people watching the friendly at home saw the incident:

  1. jucam1 - Jul 24, 2014 at 9:23 AM

    Fine, here’s the truth morons, if Israel wanted to they could invade and defeat all of it’s insane neighbors!… Like normal adults, the Israeli’s are doing their best to handle this matter with the lowest number of casualties possible. You think that if they didn’t care the number would be under a thousand? Stop acting like this is some sort of a war crime!. Hamas wants Jews to die, Israel wants to only protect itself. What is Israel supposed to do??? I’m not Jewish, nor a conservative, but I do have a ton of common sense. If the Palestinians want to end this, agree to one of the 4 cease fires that they have been offered and STOP sending rockets in to Israel!

  2. skjln - Jul 24, 2014 at 10:04 AM

    jucam1 – Amen brother! Everyone wants to advocate talks…while the rockets rain down on someone else. I don’t remember a whole lot of cries for peace and love after 9/11. Typical of these types. They want to talk while you get hurt, but demand government action when they feel the pain.

  3. routerunner - Jul 24, 2014 at 11:01 AM

    It would be awesome if Israel and a country like Iran were ever matched up in a group stage of the World Cup.

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