During its most recent 8-day aggression against the Gaza Strip, Israel had a number of objectives which included the destruction of agricultural land, open fields, homes and infrastructure. Moreover, Israeli aircraft also targeted two important sports stadiums where various matches and championships are usually held.
This is not the first time that Israel has targeted sport in Gaza; on several occasions it has targeted boys and young men playing football “too close” to the border.
The first sports facility targeted was the Yarmouk Stadium in central Gaza, which was hit by F-16 missiles. A huge crater was created in the surrounding tarmac area, and adjacent law courts were damaged considerably.
The Palestine Stadium was also hit again; it was a target during the 2008/9 “Operation Cast Lead”. During the recent bombardment it was almost completely destroyed, as were the offices of the Ministry of Youth and Sport. FIFA has said that it will pay to rebuild the stadium.
MEMO Photographer: Mohammed Asad