Greek fans burn Israeli flag at basketball game against Israeli team

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An Israeli flag was set on fire during a Basketball Champions League game between a Greek team, AEK, and an Israeli team, Hapoel Jerusalem, on Wednesday, according to Ynet.

AEK fans in Athens, also waved Palestinian and Hezbollah flags during the game and shone lasers in the eyes of Israeli fans, the report states.

According to the report, they also held up pictures of Marwan Barghouti who Israeli authorities have deemed a terrorist for his involvement as a leader of the First and Second Intifadas.

Hapoel fans who were at the game, described the conduct of the Athens supporters as horrifying.

“It hurts seeing your country’s flag being burned in front of your very eyes, and even though the way they acted was horrifying, I felt proud to have 400 Israeli fans with me who cheered and rooted like there were thousands of us,” said a witness.

Hapoel Jerusalem also released a statement addressing the incident.

“We’ve notified the BCL and there is no place for these types of acts at a sport arena. We are working with FIBA authorities on this matter. We want to acknowledge the 400 fans who accompanied the team to the game.”

According to the report, the Basketball Champions League said it will launch disciplinary proceedings against AEK Athens regarding the incident.

Another Hapoel Jerusalem fan who was present at the game said Greek police officers and security were protecting the Israeli fans. Despite the violations there was no physical confrontation.

Other Hapoel supporters said the game’s atmosphere was extremely hostile.

“It’s a disgrace to basketball, there’s no place for such behaviour, it was shameful seeing our flag burned, they should be mortified with themselves,” said an Israeli fan.

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