Palestine Olympic Football Team Coach Killed by Israel in Gaza – Over 1,000 Athletes Killed so far

Palestine Olympic Football Team Coach, Hans al-Masdar, was killed by an Israeli airstrike in Gaza. (Photo: via AJA)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

Hani al-Masdar, known in the Palestinian sports community as Abu al-Abed, was killed in an airstrike on Gaza City. He was the coach of the Palestinian Olympic football team. 

The Palestinian Football Association mourned Masdar in a Facebook post on Saturday. 

“President of the Palestinian Football Association, the family of the Palestinian Football Association, and the entire Palestinian sports family, extend their sincere feelings of sadness and pain at the martyrdom of former Palestinian football star, the general coach of the Olympic national team, Hani Al-Masdar (Abu al-Abed),” the statement read. 

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It added, 

“Abu al-Abed rose (to martyrdom – PC) due to the occupation aggression on the Gaza Strip for the third month, joining the constellation of football martyrs and martyrs of the Palestinian sports movement.”

According to the Palestinian Association, more than “1,000 members of the youth, sports and scouting movement” were killed so far in the Israeli genocidal war on Gaza, which started on October 7. 

The head of the Association accused Israel of “targeting sports facilities and the headquarters of the Palestinian sports and clubs.” 

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We sent “urgent letters to the International Olympic Committee and all international, continental and regional federations (including FIFA) calling for an urgent international investigation into the crimes of the occupation against sports and athletes in Palestine,” the Association said in a statement. 

Gaza’s few professional football stadiums seemed to have been placed on the Israeli army target list since the start of the war. 

Also, images and videos emerged of young Palestinians being stripped down to their underwear and held in large numbers at gunpoint by the Israeli army in the Yarmuk Stadium, in northern Gaza.

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Long before the start of the Israeli war, Palestinian football players were targeted by the Israeli military, often killed, wounded, and detained under various excuses. 

Palestinian football teams, including the national team, have often been prevented from moving freely between the occupied West Bank and the besieged Gaza. 

Gaza players have been repeatedly prevented from joining the national team squad in regional and international matches. 

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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