Pro-Palestinian Protesters Attack Israeli Soccer Players in Austria

Protesters burst on to the pitch in Bischofshofen, Wednesday

Protesters burst on to the pitch in Bischofshofen, Wednesday / Sports Channel screenshot

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Pro-Palestinian protesters interrupted a pre-season match between Maccabi Haifa FC and Lille OSC in Austria, Israel Hayom reports.

Throughout the second half, the demonstrators—which included Turkish immigrants—cried out anti-Israel slogans. At the 85th minute of the game, they rushed the field and began beating the Maccabi Haifa players, including defender Dekel Keinan and midfielder Idan Vered. The players defended themselves, and goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic, a Serb, pushed three of the protesters.

Security eventually got the protesters under control.

The riot didn’t end on the grass. Outside the field another 10 or so pro-Palestinian protesters were waiting, trying to force their way in. They threw chairs and other objects at the Maccabi Haifa players, one of which hit striker Shimon Abuhatzira, who responded by charging the rioters.

After a few minutes, additional police officers arrived and escorted the Maccabi players back to their hotel. The team is currently under heavy security.

“It was a miracle no one was injured,” one team member said.