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Palestinian anger over Bahrain-UAE delegation participation in Israel-sponsored race

A meme urging the famed cycling race Giro d’Italia to relocate the start of its 2018 race from Israel
A meme urging the famed cycling race Giro d’Italia to relocate the start of its 2018 race from Israel

Palestinians in Jerusalem have expressed their anger at a Bahraini-UAE delegation’s participation in the so-called Giro d’Italia race of 2018, to be held in Israel this year.

A spokesman for the National Action Authority in occupied Jerusalem described the participation of the Emirati and Bahraini teams as, “a very serious provocation to the feelings of the Palestinian people and the Arab and Islamic nations, at a time when Jerusalem is being subjected to the worst attack of Judaization, Israelization and ethnic cleansing of Jerusalemites.”

The spokesman added: “This shameful Arab participation coincides with the Nakba Day commemoration and the occupation’s celebration of the establishment of Israel. This means that these normalization states are celebrating with the occupiers the commemoration of the looting of Palestine and the displacement of its people, and this is what the free people of the nation could neither bear nor accept.”

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 Ziad Al-Hammouri, a leader in Jerusalem, described the Arab participation in this race as “the worst participation that one can expect from those who describe themselves as Arabs.” He told The New Arab that: “This is an explicit and clear declaration that these states have abandoned the Palestinian cause, the central cause of the Arab and Islamic nation, a breach of all taboos and the Arab consensus, and part of the current direction of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, who attacked the Palestinian people and accused them of rejecting peace proposals.”

In an interview with The New Arab, one of the activists said that if they encounter these Arab teams tomorrow, the activists, “will throw eggs at them and will not allow them be part of this participation, which constitutes a disgrace for the pro-occupation states of these teams and their regimes.”

The UAE delegation arrived to Israel on Wednesday, despite the opposition of many parties including the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions activists. However, the UAE has ignored all of this and decided to participate in the race for which Israel paid millions to host to tidy its image up on the 70th commemoration of the Palestinian people’s Nakba Day, which is celebrated in Israel as the establishment day.

The Israeli occupation has allocated 120 million shekels (33.6 million dollars) for the race, including 12.2 million dollars for those who are in charge of it and decided to hold it to celebrate its “70th establishment anniversary.” The race includes three stages, starting from occupied Jerusalem in the first stage, in addition to two stages in occupied Palestine since 1948, including a route from Haifa to Tel Aviv, and another from Negev towards Eilat.

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