Turkey Charges Israeli Soccer Player: A Gesture Ignites Co..

Turkey Charges Israeli Soccer Player: A Gesture Ignites Controversy


In a startling development, an Israeli soccer player, Sagiv Jehezkel, has become embroiled in a contentious situation in Turkey. Facing charges of inciting hatred, Jehezkel is under scrutiny for displaying solidarity with individuals held hostage by the Hamas militant organization during a top-flight league game. The incident has ignited tensions, shedding light on the delicate intersection of sports, politics, and international relations.

Israeli Soccer Player Jehezkel’s Provocative Gesture

The incident unfolded when the Israeli soccer player Sagiv Jehezkel displayed a bandage on his wrist with the words “100 Days 7.10” and a Star of David. This gesture was a direct reference to Oct. 7, the day Hamas attacked Israel, leading to the abduction of hostages.

Detention and Release

Promptly detained for questioning, the 28-year-old Israeli international soccer player was later released pending trial. Turkish Justice Minister Yilmaz Tunc stated that Jehezkel, the Israeli soccer player, was under investigation for openly inciting the public to hatred. Tunc’s assertion framed the gesture as supporting what he referred to as the “Israeli massacre in Gaza.”

Unveiling Jehezkel’s Intentions

During police questioning, the Israeli soccer player, Sagiv Jehezkel, vehemently denied engaging in any provocative act. He clarified that he intended to call for an end to the ongoing war. “I am not pro-war. I desire the conclusion of this 100-day process. I want the war to end,” he emphasized.

Turkish Public’s Response

Sagiv Jehezkel
Turkish Public’s Response

The gesture was perceived as provocative in Turkey, where there exists widespread public opposition to Israeli soccer player Sagiv Jehezkel’s military actions in Gaza and overwhelming support for the Palestinians. The Turkish Football Federation condemned what it deemed a gesture that “disturbed the conscience” of the Turkish public.

Antalyaspor’s Stand

Antalyaspor took swift action by suspending the Israeli soccer player, Sagiv Jehezkel, from the team and contemplating the termination of his contract. This move reflects the seriousness with which the club views the situation.

Return to Israel Amidst Tensions

Israeli soccer player Sagiv Jehezkel, along with his family, is expected to return to Israel on a private jet. The circumstances surrounding his departure and the impact on his career remain uncertain.

Outrage in Israel

Jehezkel’s detention has triggered outrage in Israel, with Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz calling for international intervention against Turkey. Katz criticized what he perceived as Turkey’s “political use of violence and threats against Israeli soccer players.”

Strong Words from Defense Minister

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant went further, branding Jehezkel’s detention as “scandalous.” He accused Turkey of serving as Hamas’ executive arm through its actions.


Israeli Soccer Player Sagiv Jehezkel’s controversial solidarity gesture highlights the intricate blend of sports, politics, and international relations. The incident, triggering legal action and straining Israel-Turkey relations, underscores the challenges of expressing political opinions in the sports arena. Jehezkel’s emphasis on peace adds complexity to a situation that serves as a poignant reminder of the delicate balance required in navigating global conflicts within the realm of sports.


  1. Why did Jehezkel display the bandage with specific references on the day of the incident?

Ans:    Jehezkel aimed to draw attention to the 100-day process and call for an end to the war.

  1. How did the Turkish public perceive Israeli Soccer Player Jehezkel’s gesture?

Ans:    The gesture was seen as provocative in Turkey due to widespread opposition to Israel’s actions in Gaza.

  1. What actions did Antalyaspor take in response to the incident?

Ans:    Antalyaspor suspended Jehezkel from the team and is considering terminating his contract.

  1. What was the Israeli government’s reaction to Jehezkel’s detention?

Ans:    Israeli officials expressed outrage, with the Foreign Minister calling for international intervention.

  1. How did Jehezkel defend himself during police questioning?

Ans:    Israeli Soccer Player Jehezkel emphasized that he was not pro-war and intended to advocate for an end to the conflict.

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