AS THE DEATH TOLL IN THE brutal and disproportionate military assault launched against the blockaded Palestinian territory of Gaza reached 69, including that of 16 children, several sports stars have come out against the ongoing pogrom being carried out by the Israeli regime.
From the cricketing world, while Irfan Pathan was the only Indian voice of note that stood up in solidarity, South Africa's Kagiso Rabada and West Indian Darren Sammy also joined the #PrayForPalestine movement on Twitter.
Afghanistan's Rashid Khan also joined many from the football world who have raised their voice against the “atrocities in the wake of the latest round of fighting” between Israel and Palestine.
Rashid took to Twitter and said, “As an athlete who plays cricket around the world, I want to see this world out of war. I can’t watch people being killed in #Afghanistan & #Palestine. No crime is more heinous than the killing of a child. I want these children to wake up to the sound of birds & not bombs.”
Retweeting Rashid, former Indian cricketer Irfan wrote, “If you have even slightest of humanity you will not support what’s happening in #Palestine #SaveHumanity”.
Liverpool stars Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah, as too Manchester City's Riyad Mahrez were just three prominent football stars who registered their anguish and protest at the unfolding tragedy in Palestine.
The streets of Gaza City resembled a ghost town Wednesday as people huddled indoors on the final night of Islam’s holiest month of Ramadan. The evening, followed by the Eid al-Fitr holiday, is usually a time of vibrant night life, shopping and crowded restaurants.
Some context: On Monday, Israeli police stormed the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in East Jerusalem, leaving a reported 300 people injured. It came on a day Israel observes as Jerusalem Day, and marked the fourth day of clashes at one of the most revered and the most contested sites of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
On the last Friday of Ramzan last week, more than 150 people were injured when Israeli forces broke up a massive gathering of Palestinian worshippers who had gathered to pray at the mosque, revered as Islam’s third holiest site. There were more clashes in the area over the weekend. The stand-off came at the end of a week of tensions over the eviction of Palestinian residents from two neighbourhoods of East Jerusalem, Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan, to make way for Jewish settlers.
And even as Israel's army escalates its military assault on Gaza, a tiny territory where 2 million Palestinians have been living under a crippling Israeli-Egyptian blockade since 2007, so too have the voices of protest across the sporting world against this massively disproportionate conflagration.