Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met on Tuesday with FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter, and presented him with concrete evidence of Hamas terrorists using soccer fields as bases for launching rockets at civilian populations in Israel.
During the counter-terrorist Operation Pillar of Defense in Gaza last November, the IDF bombed a Gaza City soccer field that camouflaged a Hamas underground missile launching site used to attack Tel Aviv.
FIFA later announced that it would help rebuild the stadium.
During Tuesday’s meeting, Netanyahu showed Blatter photographs that show – inter alia – missiles being launched at Israel from the heart of civilian populations in Gaza, aerial photographs from November 16, 2012 that show Fajr-5 missile launch sites in the Gaza soccer stadium, a photograph of a building that was hit by missiles in Rishon Lezion, and a video clip that was taken by civilians on March 10, 2012 and which shows the soccer match between Be'er Sheva and Um Al-Fahm being suddenly halted due to rocket fire at the stadium area.
"This is a double war crime. You're firing on civilians and you're hiding behind civilians," the Prime Minister told Blatter.
Netanyahu also referred to recent media interviews by Jibril Rajoub, president of the Palestinian Football Association, in which the latter said that if PA Arabs had an atomic bomb, they would have already used it on Israel and that Israel is the enemy of the “Palestinian people.”
Netanyahu said Israel was asking that FIFA give it fair play and not allow itself and the sport to be used for the dissemination of mendacious propaganda against Israel.