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    Argentina's national football team. | Photo: Reuters

Published 8 April 2018

Human rights organizations expressed their objection to Argentina's national team playing in Tel Aviv.

The Argentine Committee of Solidarity with Palestine is calling on Argentina's national football team to cancel their June 9, friendly match against Israel's national football team prior to the World Cup in Russia.

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The committee, comprising several human rights organizations, as well as the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, or BDS, movement, presented a letter to the Argentine Football Association, or AFA, expressing their objection to Argentina's national team playing in Tel Aviv. It reported on the number of Palestinian footballers killed by the Israeli army.

"Had it not been for the international (community's) position of boycotting sporting events and the South African economy, (Nelson) Mandela would have died in prison and South Africa might still be a racist apartheid state today," the document read, in part.

Friendly matches are not organized by the International Federation of Association Football. It is an agreement between two associations, in this case, Argentina and Israel, according to Palestine Libre.

The AFA, Argentine football players or coaches may decline to participate in the event in protest against Israeli occupation or policies against the Palestinian people.

The new international BDS campaign comes amid increased attacks by the Israeli army against Palestinian demonstrators.

At least 29 unarmed Palestinians have been killed and more than 1,000 injured by Israeli security forces over the past two weeks during protests along the Israeli-Gaza border. The appropriation of the Palestinian land after the war led to the founding of Israel.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Liz Throssell condemned the brutal killings of Palestinians by the Israeli military and has called for an independent investigation.

"We remind Israel of its obligations to ensure that excessive force is not employed against protesters and that in the context of a military occupation, as is the case in Gaza, the unjustified and unlawful recourse to firearms by law enforcement resulting in death may amount to a wilful killing, a grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention," Throssel said in a statement.


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