A high-ranking Israeli official says members of the Palestinian Hamas resistance movement currently being held in Israeli prisons and detention center must not be given permission to watch the 2018 Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup matches.
“I have no intention of allowing Hamas members to watch the World Cup, while the bodies of our soldiers are held in Gaza together with our kidnapped citizens,” Israel’s Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan said.
He added, “Anyone who has taken himself out of the family of nations … is not supposed to enjoy international sports competitions that bring different peoples around the world together.”
“We will continue to exercise a heavy hand toward prisoners from Hamas and will also look at making things harder for security prisoners from other organizations,” the minister said.
More than 7,000 Palestinians are reportedly held at Israeli jails. Hundreds of the inmates have apparently been incarcerated under the practice of administrative detention, a policy under which Palestinian inmates are kept in Israeli detention facilities without trial or charge.
Some Palestinian prisoners have been held in administrative detention for up to eleven years.
Palestinian inmates regularly stage hunger strikes in protest at the administrative detention policy and their harsh prison conditions in Israeli jails.
According to reports, at least 13 Palestinian lawmakers are currently imprisoned in Israeli detention facilities. Nine of them are being held without trial under administrative detention.
During the official 2018 FIFA World Cup draw ceremony at Kremlin State Palace in the Russian capital city of Moscow on December 1 last year, the host nation, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Uruguay formed Group A in the upcoming quadrennial international sports event.
The Iran men’s national football team, domestically known as Team Melli, joined the Portugal national football team, nicknamed A Selecção, Spain’s La Furia Roja and Atlas Lions of Morocco to shape Group B.
France is pitted against Australia, Peru and Denmark in Group C.
Argentina, Iceland, Croatia and Nigeria are drawn in Group D.
Group E consists of Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica and Serbia.
While the 2014 FIFA World Cup champion Germany, Mexico, Sweden and South Korea shape Group F, Belgium, Panama, Tunisia and England are in Group G.
Group H has Poland, Senegal, Colombia and Japan.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup will take place from June 14 to July 15. Russia will open the event against Saudi Arabia in a Group A fixture at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium.
A total of 64 matches will be played in 12 venues located in 11 cities.
source: press tv