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Celtic fans welcome Israeli rivals with Palestinian flags Open in fullscreen

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Celtic fans welcome Israeli rivals with Palestinian flags

Hundreds of fans waved Palestinian flags in solidarity [Getty]

Date of publication: 18 August, 2016

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Scottish football fans on Wednesday waved Palestinian flags during the UEFA Champions League match between Celtic and Israeli team Hapoel Be'er Sheva in Glasgow, defying a ban on political statements.

Hundreds of Scottish football fans waved Palestinian flags during Wednesday night's UEFA Champions League match between Celtic and Israeli team Hapoel Be'er Sheva, defying a ban by officials.

The mass action in support of Palestine was organised on Facebook a week prior to the match hosted by Celtic on its Glasgow home ground by a group calling itself "Celtic fans for Palestine".

"We will be distributing free Palestine flags to those who will fly them. We will not be pushing them on those who do not want to participate, we respect your choice as fans to simply watch the game and support our team," the group told fans on Facebook.

"In support of the Palestinians we Celtic fans invoke our democratic rights to display our opposition to Israeli Apartheid, settler - colonialism and countless massacres of the Palestinian people," they added.

Police had threatened the fans with arrest if they went ahead with their political expression of solidarity, which is banned under UEFA rules.

Celtic will probably face a UEFA fine for its fans' breach of regulations concerning political statements during games, but the club's fans have proven time and again that they believe some things are more important than money.

In 2014, UEFA fined the club after fans waved Palestinian flags during a match against Iceland's KR Reykjavik.

Pro-Palestinian Twitter users applauded the solidarity displayed by Celtic fans and congratulated them on the 5-2 victory of their team.



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