Clashes between Israel and Hamas, considered a terrorist group in the Gaza Strip, continue to be characterized by intense lethal attacks. The persistent war between the territories has resulted in the loss of more than four thousand civilian lives to date. Amid crucial humanitarian issues, Israeli football, which features three Brazilian players, was suspended and there is no timetable for its return.
In addition to the humanitarian crisis affecting both territories, football has also been affected, leading to the indefinite interruption of national competitions. With Data FIFA, the Israeli team’s games against Switzerland and Kosovo were cancelled. Lucas Salinas, 28 years old, who plays for FC Ashdod, shared with the Lance portal! his experiences of witnessing air strikes near his home and attempted invasions by terrorists from the Gaza Strip. He reported that his city, Ashdod, was the target of several air strikes, including a rocket that landed about two kilometers from his residence, impacting his routine. He also mentioned land invasion attempts, which were contained with the neutralization of terrorists at the entrance to the city.
“I chose to stay at home because I had a shelter and I only left with confirmation of the flight. On Wednesday (11), I went to Portugal and stayed at my manager’s house. On Friday (13) night, I returned to Brazil. The club gave us the freedom to choose between staying in Israel or going home. Regarding our return, there are many uncertainties. We have no concrete information. Probably, when the war ends, we will return to fulfill our contracts and participate in the championship”, said.
Felipe Santos, Hapoel Haifa striker and current vice-leader of the Israeli Championship, also shared the tension he has been experiencing in recent days. The player, who lives with his wife, son and grandmother, reported that, upon being informed about the severity of the attacks, he became worried about the safety of his family. Local authorities prevented him from leaving the house. “The order is not to open the house to anyone, not even to police officers, as we do not know if these police officers are really who they say they are, due to the fact that many terrorists in the Gaza Strip disguise themselves as police officers. Unlike Lucas Salinas, the number 11 remains in Haifa, but plans to return to Brazil after contacting the Brazilian government.