The Palestinian flags are attracting massive attention in the ongoing FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. Fans are seen frequently raising the Palestinian flags during the matches.
Palestinian flags of different sizes are waived at all venues for football matches. Palestinians took the lead by waving their flag. People of other Arab nationalities also joined the cause and waved flags to show their solidarity with the people of Palestine. The gestures are directed at disapproving of the occupation of Palestinian territories by Israel.
Palestinians speaking to international media outlets say that the tournament has given them the opportunity to raise awareness regarding the Israeli occupation, also to highlight the Palestinian culture and traditions.
— #FreePalestine🇵🇸 (@abofalsten57) November 30, 2022
Young man gives football fans in Qatar World Cup bracelets in the colors of the Palestinian flag. pic.twitter.com/0FukAoIquQ
— Palestine Highlights (@PalHighlight) November 26, 2022
Though Israel has been leading a normalisation campaign within the Arab world, Arab fans at the Qatar World Cup have refused to talk to Israeli journalists and news media.
Some have even waved the Palestinian flag behind reporters as a show of boycotthttps://t.co/8Ogjmkr9h6
— Middle East Eye (@MiddleEastEye) November 22, 2022
WATCH: A group of Qatar fans hoisted a banner featuring the Qatari and Palestinian flag motifs with “Free Palestine” on it during the Netherlands-Qatar World Cup match.
Throughout the tournament, fans have been showing solidarity with Palestine in various ways. pic.twitter.com/czy2etlvJh
— Middle East Eye (@MiddleEastEye) November 30, 2022
Moroccan fans became the latest to wave the Palestinian flag during the Morocco-Belgium match on Sunday. The flag had written a “Free Palestine” message. Interestingly, the flags were raised in the 48th minute of the match. A day earlier, Tunisian fans also raised the ‘Free Palestine’ flags in the 48th minute.
The 48th minute is symbolic of what is called by Arabs 1948 Nakba. Thousands of Palestinians were displaced from their homeland.
Palestine had not qualified for the tournament happening for the first time ever in the Middle East. The flag, however, is making its presence visible throughout the tournament. Moroccan fans even sang the song chanting support for Palestine. They also wore Keffiyeh to show solidarity.
Video of Arab football fans calling out the Israeli reporters and fans are making rounds on social media. A Saudi Arabian fan is heard telling the Israeli reporter that “It is Palestine, there is no Israel. Go, please. You are not welcome here. This is Qatar, this is our country – you are not welcome here. There is only Palestine. There is no Israel.” Others were heard saying ‘Free Palestine’ in a brief encounter. They even refused to talk to Israeli reporters.