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Tragedy Strikes: Palestinian Olympic Team Coach Martyred in Israeli Strike

January 8, 2024
Photo Source: Palestinian Football Association

Hani Al-Mossader, the coach of the Palestinian Olympic team, was killed by an Israeli strike on Gaza, as announced by the Palestinian Football Association (PFA) on Saturday 6 January. 

Al-Mossader was fatally struck by shrapnel from an Israel Defense Forces

(IDF) missile dropped near his residence in the village of Al-Masdar, located in the Central Governorate of the Gaza Strip.

The PFA revealed that a total of 88 Palestinian athletes, spanning various sports, have been killed in Israeli airstrikes targeting civilian locations in the Gaza Strip since 7 October. The devastating toll includes 67 football players and 24 officials from managerial and technical staff. 

On Thursday 22 December, Ahmed Daraghmeh, a prominent Palestinian footballer, aged 23, was shot dead by Israeli forces that entered the city of Nablus to escort Jewish worshippers to a site known as the biblical Joseph’s Tomb in the Palestinian city.

Accusing Israel of targeting sports facilities and Palestinian sports clubs, the PFA has urgently called for an international investigation into the crimes against sports and athletes in Palestine, reaching out to the International Olympic Committee and various federations, including Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). 

Even before the beginning of the Gaza war, the professional football stadiums in Gaza were consistently targeted, and Palestinian football players encountered violence, compounded by movement restrictions that hindered the national team’s fluid operation between the occupied West Bank and the besieged Gaza.

Despite facing the challenges of the Israeli war on Gaza and crackdowns in the West Bank, the Palestinian Olympic teams are determined to participate in the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris.

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