Manchester United stars Pogba and Diallo raise Palestinian flag

Manchester United stars Pogba and Diallo raise Palestinian flag

This article by Shafik Mandhai was posted yesterday by Middle East Eye at https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/manchester-united-stars-pogba-and-diallo-raise-palestinian-flag.

Manchester United stars Paul Pogba and Amad Diallo have shown their support for people living under Israeli bombardment in Gaza by raising the Palestinian flag after their team drew with Fulham.

The gesture of support comes just days after Leicester City pair Hamza Choudhury and Wesley Fofana similarly raised the flag after their team beat Chelsea in the FA Cup final.

Palestinians immediately welcomed the show of support, with Husam Zomlot, the Palestinian ambassador to the UK, thanking the pair in a letter.

Pogba and Diallo’s move has similarly been welcomed by Zomlot.

“Thank you, Paul Pogba and Amad Diallo, for your solidarity today at Old Trafford. One day, Palestine shall be free. One day, the Palestinian people will be free. One day we will invite you to play in Jerusalem, our liberated capital,” he wrote on Twitter.

Vocal support

Since the attacks began on 10 May, Israel has killed 217 Palestinians, including 63 children and 36 women. The numbers were accurate as of late evening on Tuesday.

In Israel, 12 people have been killed in rocket attacks launched by Palestinian groups based in Gaza.

The pair join a growing list of footballers expressing their support for the Palestinian cause amid more than a week of Israeli bombing in Gaza. Many have used their social media platforms to express solidarity with victims of the violence.

Notable examples include Arsenal’s Egyptian star Mohamed Elneny, who drew the ire of club sponsor Lavazza after he expressed support for the Palestinians.

The coffee brand said the post – which made no mention of Israel or the Jewish people – was not aligned with its company values and that the “Lavazza Group is fully committed against racism and antisemitism.”

Others who have expressed support for Palestinians, include Leicester City’s Turkish defender Caglar Soyuncu, Manchester City’s Riyad Mahrez, Liverpool’s Sadio Mane and Fenerbahce’s Mesut Ozil, among others.

The current crisis in Israel-Palestine began with Israeli settler attempts to appropriate property from Palestinians in the occupied East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah, and the later Israeli raid on the al-Aqsa Mosque complex on Islam’s holiest night, Laylat al-Qadr.

Israeli police violence sparked anger across the wider Muslim world, but particularly among Palestinians living in Israeli-occupied territories and within Israeli territory itself.

Protests have been attacked by both Israeli forces as well as ultra-nationalist gangs, drawing Palestinian youths into street battles in defence of their communities.

The violence has since spilt over into Gaza, where it has had the most devastating impact with hundreds killed in little over a week.

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