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Algerian athletes who refused to compete against Israel in the 2020 Olympics are “prepared to sacrifice our souls for Palestine”

Official PA TV News

 

 

 

Official PA TV reporter: “Celebrations of the 33rd anniversary of the State of Palestine’s declaration of independence (see note below -Ed.) received a different nature here in Algiers. The State of Palestine’s embassy decided that it would include a special expression of appreciation for those supporting the Palestinian people’s cause, for the two Algerian judo champions Fethi Nourine and [his coach] Amar Benikhlef who sacrificed their sporting future for the sake of the Palestinian cause (refers to Nourine’s 10-year suspension and Benikhlef’s as yet undetermined suspension after they refused to compete against an Israeli in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics -Ed.).”

 

Algerian judoka Fethi Nourine: “We are prepared to sacrifice our souls for the sake of our position and our word. We would never take a step backwards. As long as we are alive, we are for the sake of the cause at every opportunity, and Allah willing He will make our path succeed, and I hope that because of us and because of the people who are loyal, victory will return to our brothers in Palestine.”

 

Algerian Judo coach Amar Benikhlef: “We don’t regret, even if the punishment will continue forever. We support Palestine, whether justice is on its side or not, and that is a tenet of faith. If the punishment is not cancelled it will apply to us, and we made our decision out of faith in its justice.”

 

 

 

 

Palestinian declaration of independence - On Nov. 15, 1988, before the Palestine National Council (PNC), the Palestinian parliament in exile in Algeria, Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Yasser Arafat declared the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital. Although the borders were not specified in the declaration, it recognized the UN partition plan of 1947, which called for the creation of a Jewish state and an Arab state in the former British Mandate for Palestine.