update desk

‘Nothing less than a terrorist attack’: Israeli fans come under siege at basketball game in Greece

The AEK Basketball Club fans also launched fireworks at Israeli fans and shouted antisemitic epithets.

Hapoel Jerusalem head coach Oded Kattash seen during the Basketball champions league match between Hapoel Jerusalem and BC AEK Athens, in the Jerusalem Arena, Oct. 23, 2019. Credit: Flash90.
Hapoel Jerusalem head coach Oded Kattash seen during the Basketball champions league match between Hapoel Jerusalem and BC AEK Athens, in the Jerusalem Arena, Oct. 23, 2019. Credit: Flash90.

Israeli fans of the Hapoel Jerusalem Basketball Club came under attack from AEK Basketball Club fans at the latter’s home stadium in Athens on Wednesday.

Fans documented and posted to social media clashes between fans, riot police attempting to restore order and large chunks of what appeared to be cement that AEK fans had thrown down on Israeli fans in the lower stands.

The AEK fans also launched fireworks at the Israelis and shouted antisemitic epithets, according to reports.

In addition, an Israeli flag was burned and a large banner declared, “The capital of Palestine is Jerusalem.”

Many Hezbollah and Palestinian flags were also on display.

A Hapoel Jerusalem official told Channel 12 news that some fans were lightly injured.

The Israeli club posted several messages to Twitter, calling the incident “nothing less than a terrorist attack on Israeli fans, who came in droves to support their team, as they have been doing for years.”

“In view of the events, at halftime, we checked all the possible options. Taking out the Hapoel fans was an option that was ruled out outright due to the fact that Greek fans surrounded the hall, and there was a real danger of a severe attack outside the hall.

“Stopping the game was also a possibility that was seriously considered by the team’s management, but the security personnel and the police warned that this decision could lead to complete chaos and a violent pogrom that would endanger human life.

“Therefore, it was decided, for the sake of maintaining the safety of all Hapoel fans, to continue the game, along with a promise from the police that another violent incident will lead to the removal of all fans, on both sides, from the hall.

“Hapoel cherishes and stands by every fan who came to support the team in such difficult conditions, and we regret the traumatic experience our dedicated fans had to go through. The club will not let these events pass over in silence,” the club said in a statement.

The game played to its conclusion. AEK defeated Hapoel Jerusalem 94:78.

The AEK team’s Twitter account did not mention the behavior of its fans in a post celebrating the victory.

You have read 3 articles this month.
Register to receive full access to JNS.

Just before you scroll on...

Israel is at war. JNS is combating the stream of misinformation on Israel with real, honest and factual reporting. In order to deliver this in-depth, unbiased coverage of Israel and the Jewish world, we rely on readers like you. The support you provide allows our journalists to deliver the truth, free from bias and hidden agendas. Can we count on your support? Every contribution, big or small, helps JNS.org remain a trusted source of news you can rely on.

Become a part of our mission by donating today
Topics
Comments
Thank you. You are a loyal JNS Reader.
You have read more than 10 articles this month.
Please register for full access to continue reading and post comments.
Never miss a thing
Get the best stories faster with JNS breaking news updates