(ATR) The Palestine Olympic Committee (POC) tells Around the Rings that the country’s athletes and training facilities are suffering as a result of fighting in the Gaza Strip.
In addition to the 800 lives have been lost over the course of the last two weeks, many of whom were civilians,Samia Elwazer of the POC said in an email to ATR that widespread rocket attacks between Israeli and Hamas militants have led to "the destruction of sports clubs, a soccer field, and a Paralympic facility."
Additionally, the ongoing conflict has jeopardized prospects for at least one sprinter hoping to compete in the upcoming Asian Games.
"Mohammed Abu Khosa ... is supposed to participate in the Asian Games next month," Elwazer said on Thursday.
"He lives in Gaza and didn’t get any training for the last 20 days, and above all that, the borders are closed so he might not be able to join the games."
"As a result of families’ evacuations from their homes, it is hard to get the players together just for a meeting," Elwazer continued, citing the loss of electricity throughout the region.
"We, in the POC, insist to take part in the coming Asian Games, and we demand the IOC and the [international federations] reduce the hindrance of Palestinian athletes’ movement and protect their rights."
When contacted on Tuesday, the Olympic Committee of Israel said they "only takes care of sports and not politics, thus [we] do not have a stance on the situation."
Written by Andrew Murrell
20 Years at #1: Your best source of news about the Olympics is AroundTheRings.com, for subscribers only.