Celtic fans urged to launch Israel protest


A Facebook group has called on fans of Celtic football club to demonstrate at the Scottish side's Champions League qualifier with Israeli outfit Hapoel Be'er Sheva.

More than 500 people have joined the page - titled "Fly the flag for Palestine, for Celtic, for Justice" - which wants supporters to display Palestinian flags as part of an anti-Israel protest at next Wednesday's match.

The Facebook group claims European governing body Uefa should bar the Israeli champions from the competition because of allegations of apartheid in the country.

The group organisers called on Celtic fans to use their "democratic rights to display our opposition to Israeli apartheid, settler colonialism and countless massacres of the Palestinian people".

In a separate incident, police are investigating after Daniel Yahia, an Edinburgh University student, posted an antisemitic message on Facebook about Celtic's Israeli midfielder Nir Bitton.

In an expletive-laden rant, Mr Yahia wrote: "Zionists are subhuman and Nir Bitton is a filthy, Zionist rat.

"Get him as far to f--- from our club as possible.

"If you're gonna wave your Palestinian flag, don't be a hypocrite and demand this b****** takes his place on the team."

He added: "Only place he should be an ever-present is a jail cell for supporting the apartheid regime. C---."

According to The Tab student news site, Mr Yahia is a delegate to the National Union of Students, but has not taken up his post.

An NUS spokesperson said: "These are utterly contemptible comments, which have absolutely no place in either the student movement or wider society.

"We are not aware of this individual ever having held elected office within, or being a representative of, NUS."

Celtic did not respond to repeated requests for a comment on both the protest and Mr Yahia's remarks.

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