Palestinian solidarity in full display during Qatar World Cup 2022

Islam Channel and AFP
12/9/2022 7:39 PM

Palestinian flags are flying high during this year's world cup as football fans show solidarity and support for the country.

Despite moves by some Arab countries to normalise relations with Israel, it seems the Palestinian cause has been fully embraced by Arab fans.

The Palestinian national flag has been ubiquitous during the tournament, while on social media, people are sharing viral clips of fans refusing to speak to Israeli TV.

On Saturday, Tunisian fans unfurled a "Free Palestine" flag in the 48th minute of their game against Australia, referencing the 1948 Nakba which saw the violent uprooting and mass exodus of over 700,000 Palestinians from their homes.

The Moroccan fans did the same thing a day later during their country's impressive win over Belgium.

Meanwhile, their fans in Doha's Souq Waqif were seen wearing the keffiyeh and chanting in support of Palestine.

Solidarity amidst World Cup celebrations

Meanwhile clips on social media have gone viral of fans from various countries, not just Muslims, expressing solidarity with Palestine on live broadcasts or refusing to speak to Israeli TV.

Many Qataris have put the Palestinian flag next to their national emblem, while some Qataris sitting in a stadium VIP section have worn armbands showing the Palestinian keffiyeh head-dress.

The Palestinian song "Ali Al-Keffiyeh" (Raise Your Keffiyeh) is regularly played in fan zones.

"Some foreigners do not know the Palestinian flag and ask us about it," Yahya Abu Hantash, a 33-year-old Palestinian living in Doha, told AFP.

"This is a golden opportunity to introduce our cause," said Hantash, who wore a Qatar football shirt while holding a Palestinian flag.

Mira, a Palestinian resident of Qatar, said: "Yesterday, I was at one of the games for the World Cup and I was walking around with my Palestinian flag and the entertainers on stilts asked me for the flag to take pictures with it and everyone started gathering around them for pictures.

Another Palestinian Fan said: "Of course we should display the Palestinian flag and tell people that Palestine should be a free country and that we need to give them human rights."

Qatar has no diplomatic relations with Israel and criticised other Arab nations for normalising ties with Israel in 2020.