Israeli footballers were attacked by pro-Palestinian protesters on field during a friendly match.
Israeli’s team Maccabi Haifa’s game against French side Lille had to be stopped after pro-Palestinian protesters stormed the pitch.
One of the players is seen to trip a fan before punches were thrown. Some of the Maccabi players retaliated and managed to leave the field unhurt.
The incident comes amid fears of growing anti-Semitism in Europe at a time when Israeli forces are locked in a violent conflict with militant group Hamas in Gaza.
A club statement given to the Jerusalem Post read:
“Maccabi Haifa Football Club believes in co-existence, tolerance and is against violence, We denounce the violence that was used against us. This didn’t happen because of sport or football, it happened because we are a team which represents Israel”
There was rioting in Paris at the weekend when a synagogue and Jewish-owned businesses were attacked during a pro-Palestinian rally. Jews have started fleeing Paris as they fear its no longer a safe place for them anymore.
Roger Cukierman, of the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions in France, said Jewish people were living in fear.
He said: ‘They are not shouting “Death to the Israelis” on the streets of Paris. They are screaming “Death to the Jews”.’
One of the victims of attack, a Jew, allegedly said that the oppression and violence on Jews started way back and if reported to Police, nothing was done about it. She fears that this would have a big impact n future has it has started already.
French President Francois Hollande met Jewish and Muslim leaders in the Elysee Palace on Monday and told them that fighting anti-Semitism will be a ‘national cause’. France has around half a million Jewish residents, the biggest population in Europe, and around five million Muslims.
Meanwhile, murderous slogans dating back to the days of Hitler have been chanted at similar events in Germany.
The Israeli ambassador to Germany, Yakov Hadas-Handelsman, said: ‘They pursue the Jews in the streets of Berlin… as if we were in 1938.’ The Jewish population of Germany has increased in the past two decades to around 250,000, most of them migrants from the former Soviet Union who came after German reunification.
Israeli troops battled Hamas militants today near a southern Gaza Strip town as the top U.S. diplomat reported progress in efforts to broker a truce in a war that has so far killed at least 684 Palestinians and 31 Israelis.
But neither side appeared close to backing down.