Gaza war: Turkey detains Israeli footballer over on-field gesture, here's what happened

Antalyaspor suspended Jehezkel from the team following the incident

Sagiv Jehezkel Antalyaspor's Israeli forward Sagiv Jehezkel displaying a bandage on his wrist reading "100 days. 07/10" after scoring a goal. | AFP

Turkish authorities have detained football club Antalyaspor's Israeli player Sagiv Jehezkel for questioning after he displayed solidarity with people held hostage by Hamas during a top-flight league game.

After scoring a goal Jehezkel displayed a bandage on his wrist with the words "100 Days 7.10" in reference to Oct. 7, the day Hamas attacked Israel and the hostages were abducted next to a Star of David.

He later told police he was simply calling for an end to the war with the action. Justice Minister Yilmaz Tunc said late Sunday that Jehezkel, a 28-year-old Israeli international, is under investigation over possible charges of openly inciting the public to hatred and hostility. Tunc maintained in a statement posted on X that Jehezkel had engaged in an ugly gesture in support of the Israeli massacre in Gaza.

The gesture was deemed to be provocative in Turkey where there is widespread public opposition to Israel's military actions in Gaza and overwhelming support for the Palestinians.

Antalyaspor suspended Jehezkel from the team and announced that it was speaking to the club's lawyers about the possibility of terminating his contract.

During his questioning by police, the player denied accusations that he engaged in a provocative act, the private DHA news agency reported.

I am not pro-war, DHA quoted him as telling police. I want this 100-day process to come to an end. I want the war to end.

Jehezkel continued: I have never engaged in anything related to politics since my arrival. I have never disrespected anyone since the day I arrived. The point I wanted to draw attention to was (the need) for an end of the war.

The Turkish Football Federation condemned what it said was a gesture that disturbed the conscience of the Turkish public.

Jehezkel's detention, meanwhile, sparked outrage in Israel.

Shame on you, Turkish government, Israeli former Prime Minister Naftali Bennet wrote on X.

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