Athens – Israeli basketball players and their fans came under attack from Greek crowds in Athens during the FIBA Champions League quarterfinal series in Athens on Wednesday, burning the Israeli flag and throwing firecrackers onto the court, and hurling rocks at the Israeli fans in the stands.
Hapoel Jerusalem played Greek’s AEK which ultimately won in a in a 94-78 victory.
The crowds held banners with pro-Palestinian messages and carried Palestinian and Hezbollah flags.
The Israeli team issued a statement after the match calling the chaos nothing less than a terror attack on Israeli fans who were there to support their team.
“At half time we considered removing our players and fans but were unable to because the Greek fans had surrounded the stadium and the danger was real,” the team said.
“We also considered stopping the game but were warned by our security detail that such a move would release even more violence and put lives at risk,” the statement read adding a complaint would be filed with the international body governing the games.
Diaspora Minister Amichai Chikli condemned the events and said he would demand an investigation and that the culprits be severely punished.
“We are again witnessing a sharp increase in the number of violent antisemitic incidents, especially in Europe, Chikli said in a letter to the Greek ambassador to Israel. “We demand a governmental condemnation of the criminal and antisemitic acts,” he said.