Israeli Soccer Player Arrested, Charged In Turkey After Standing In Solidarity With Israeli Hostages
Sagiv Jehezkel for Hapoel Beer Sheva during UEFA Conference League between Villarreal CF and Hapoel Beer Sheva at Ciutat de Valencia Stadium on October 27, 2022.
Jose Miguel Fernandez / NurPhoto via Getty Images

Turkish law enforcement officials arrested and charged Israel’s Sagiv Jehezkel for allegedly inciting hatred over the weekend after he wore a message on a wrist wrap that showed support for the hostages who were kidnapped during Hamas’ October 7 terrorist attack against Israel.

The 28-year-old, playing for Turkish club Antalyaspor, celebrated his match-tying goal on Sunday against Trabzonspor in Turkey’s top league by making a heart sign with his hands and showing the message on his wrist wrap that said: “100 Days 7.10”.

The message came exactly 100 days after more than 200 hostages were taken during Hamas’ unprecedented terror attack against Israel. More than 1,200 people were murdered, 5,300+ were injured, and numerous women and girls were violently raped.

Turkey’s justice minister, Yilmaz Tunc, said that authorities in Antalya “launched a judicial investigation against Israeli football player Sagiv Jehezkel for the crime of ‘publicly inciting the public to hatred and hostility’ due to his ugly action supporting the massacre committed by Israel in #Gazze after the goal he scored in the Antalyaspor-Trabzonspor Super League match played today.”

“I once again condemn the attacks of Israel, which has committed crimes against humanity by committing genocide in Gaza, regardless of children or women, young or old, for more than 100 days,” he said. “We will always continue to stand by the oppressed Palestinians.”

Former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett slammed Turkey following the arrest: “This is Turkey 2024. Shame on you, Turkish government.”

Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant called out Turkey on social media, noting Israel’s recent support for the country.


“When the earth shook in Turkey less than a year ago, Israel was the first country to stand up and extend aid that saved the lives of many Turkish citizens,” Gallant said. “The scandalous arrest of the footballer Shagiv Yehezkel is an expression of hypocrisy and good will. In its actions, Turkey serves as the executive arm of Hamas.”

The Guardian reported that Israel later secured Jehezkel’s release, and he is now back in Israel.

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