Manchester United players Paul Pogba and Amad Diallo won praise on social media after they held the Palestinian flag, after the club’s 1-1 draw against Fulham on Tuesday night.
As coronavirus restrictions eased for the first time in 10 months, a mammoth 10,000 fans crowded the stadiums to watch Manchester United lock horns with Fulham.
Pogba, who plays as a midfielder for United, collected a Palestine flag and held it up. Diallo also held the flag and walked alongside his teammate in front of thousands of cheering fans.
🇵🇸 @paulpogba @Amaddiallo_19 pic.twitter.com/iXPrslxoIi
— Scott Patterson (@R_o_M) May 18, 2021
This is not the first instance of English Premier League footballers showing solidarity with Palestinians, who are braving atrocities at the hands of the Israeli government.
Leicester City pair Hamza Choudhury and Wesley Fofana raised the Palestinian flag after their Foxes’ FA Cup Final triumph over Chelsea at Wembley on Saturday.
Big up to one of the two finest Leicester City players Wesley Fofana and Hamza Choudhury for this class and amazing act. 🇵🇸👏🏻❤️#PalestineUnderAttack #Palestine pic.twitter.com/dkXNF1D3rA
— ElNady Jr. (@Yousefelnadii) May 15, 2021
‘We need to respect their views’: Solskjaer
United manager Solskjaer reacted to Pogba and Diallo’s action, saying that people needed to respect their views.
“We have players from different backgrounds, different cultures, different countries,” he said. “I think we need to respect their views if they differ from someone else’s. If my players think about other things than football, that’s a positive thing,” he added.
“I think we’ve seen that with some of the players before, that they do care about. say Marcus Rashford, for example, the differences he’s made. We respect their right to have a different view,” he added.
Israel has been pounding Gaza with bombs, killing over 200 people since May 10 when Hamas and other Palestinian groups fired rockets at Israel.
The actions were retaliation for Israeli police’s brutality at the Al-Aqsa mosque and in response to the forceful Sheikh Jarrah evictions of Palestinians.
Calls for a ceasefire have intensified, but Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed Israel would continue its onslaught on the coastal enclave “as long as necessary,” before a UN Security Council meeting broke up after less than an hour without issuing a statement.
Israeli forces and protesters meanwhile clashed at multiple flashpoints across the occupied West Bank and in east Jerusalem, hospitalizing scores, as Palestinians rallied in solidarity with their besieged Gazan counterparts. Dozens were treated for wounds caused by live bullets, medics said.
Israel’s near-relentless bombing campaign has killed 217 Palestinians, including 63 children, and wounded more than 1,400 people in just over a week in the Hamas-run enclave, according to Gaza´s health ministry.
The death toll on the Israeli side rose to 12 when a volley of rockets Hamas fired at the southern Eshkol region killed two Thai nationals working in a factory and wounded several others, police said.
Israeli strikes that again sent fireballs, debris and black smoke into the sky have left two million Palestinians in Gaza desperate for reprieve.
“They destroyed our house but I don´t know why they targeted us,” said Nazmi al-Dahdouh, 70, of Gaza City who remained shocked by what he called “a terrifying, violent night”.
The humanitarian crisis deepened in the impoverished strip, from where Hamas has launched nearly 3,500 rockets at Israel since May 10, often forcing people living near Gaza into bomb shelters around the clock.