Published: Sun, June 10, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Israeli troops kill 3 Palestinians, injure 600 along Gaza border: medics

Israeli troops kill 3 Palestinians, injure 600 along Gaza border: medics

Lionel Messi will not be leading Argentina onto the pitch for a World Cup warm-up against Israel after the game was called off following protests by pro-Palestinian groups. The grassroots movement advocates boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel in what supporters say is a way to promote Palestinian rights through non-violent means.

The Palestinian organizers called the latest rally "the Friday of the One-million-men March for Jerusalem".

'We have never in our history started a war against any country and we are not going to in the future, ' said Hassan Ruholamini, a 33-year-old artist.

He accused them of threatening players and their families, without providing any evidence.

There are no vetoes in the 193-member world body, but while Security Council resolutions are legally binding, General Assembly resolutions are not. Rajoub said: "Values, morals and sport have secured a victory and a red card was raised at Israel through the cancellation of the game".

Israel considers Jerusalem its "indivisible" capital. He had called on Arabs to burn Lionel Messi pictures and Messi T-shirts if he played the match.

There have been no Israeli casualties from the more than two months of confrontations along the Gaza border.

Rajoub laughed off Israeli threats of action, denying there was any intimidation.

Netanyahu is now visiting Europe and his office could not immediately confirm the reports. Argentina's soccer federation canceled the game Tuesday, and on Wednesday, apologized to those who had bought tickets.

But Saturday's match, which was sold out, is off. Fans had been clamoring to see Messi play in West Jerusalem's Teddy Kollek Stadium.

At one point, seven activists in black-and-white striped shirts meant to resemble concentration camp uniforms from World War II approached the fence.

'The supreme leader told us we should come in large numbers to show the world that the actions of the U.S. and Israel will not have any effect on our people, ' said Hassan Dorabi, a 30-year-old teacher.

The Palestinians have also been outraged by President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital and his decision to move the US Embassy to the city.

Israel's deadly tactics in confronting the protests have drawn worldwide condemnation.

But Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel has the right to defend its borders against acts of violence by a terrorist organization - a reference to the Islamic militant group Hamas that rules Gaza.

Earlier reports said Israeli troops fired tear gas and live bullets at Palestinians taking part in weekly protests at the Gaza Strip border with Israel on Friday, injuring at least 386 people, medics said.

Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli last week aired misgivings about having his players make the trip to Israel, noting he preferred to remain in Barcelona.

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