Greek Australian football coach escapes Israel after Hamas attack

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49-year-old Greek Australian football coach, Michael (Mihalis) Valkanis, has shared his experience fleeing Israel following Friday’s attack by Palestinian Islamist group – Hamas.

The coach of Israel Premier League club, Hapoel Tel Aviv FC, fled to Athens, Greece and spoke with gazetta.gr about his nightmare experience as the Hamas attack hit Israel.

“I was watching the missiles launch in the sky with my 16-year-old son. We were told that it could last for a month,” Valkanis said.

According to The Guardian, the Israeli death toll after the surprise attack by the militant group Hamas on communities in the country’s south has risen to at least 700, including 44 soldiers.

“It’s something that when you go to Israel you are told from the beginning that it can happen, but you don’t expect it to, to this extent,” Valkanis said.

michael valkanis
LinkedIn post by Michael Valkanis.

“For two to three hours, the sirens rang. We were watching the news and understood the severity of danger.”

Valkanis shared his concerns as he also had his 16-year-old son along with him for two months while in Israel.

“All I can think of is for all of this to end and for us to return to our daily lives and to the football we love. To coach again in front of our passionate fans,” he said.

The football coach said he was now safe in Athens and the football team was looked after. All foreign players were contacted and assisted so they could return to their families immediately.

Source: Gazzetta GR.

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