Someone removed an Israeli flag that had been flying alongside flags of other countries outside the Hamad Aquatic Center in Qatar, the venue for the FINA (International Swimming Federation) Swimming World Cup.
The incident began when a user named Sara AlDisi posted a picture of the flag on Twitter Monday. That post reportedly went viral.
A website called RiyadhConnect quoted another site, Qatar Living, as reporting that AlDisi said that Qataris and others were “shocked” to see the picture. “The fact that the flag was put up so boldly within and outside the aquatic center has shocked some people. Apparently, it has never happened before even though Israelis have come to Qatar before,” wrote RiyadhConnect.
The Qatar Olympic Committee “made sure to never mention Israeli when listing countries in news,” AlDisi reportedly explained to her twitter followers.
By Tuesday, another Twitter user, Danijel Poropat, posted a photo showing that the flag had been removed.
Israeli media has reported that television coverage of the swim event has also blocked the image of the Israeli flag whenever a graphic with country flags appeared next to swimmers.
Israeli tennis player Shahar Pe'er took part in the annual international tennis tournament at Doha in 2011.
Qatar broke off diplomatic relations with Israel after Israel's Cast Lead counterterror operation in 2009. The two countries have been reported to have close ties in the security field, however.