Sagiv Jehezkel: Row over arrest of Israeli footballer in Turkey who displayed solidarity message during game

Israel has accused Turkey of being a "de facto executive arm of Hamas" in a row over the detention of an Israeli footballer who made a show of solidarity to the hostages being held in Gaza during a game.

Sagiv Jehezkel, who plays for Antalyaspor, scored an equaliser in a match on Sunday and then displayed a bandage around his wrist with a message marking 100 days since the attacks against Israel on 7 October by Hamas.

He has since been charged with inciting hatred and released from custody pending trial. He is reportedly heading back to Israel.

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The gesture was deemed to be provocative in Turkey where there is widespread public opposition to Israel's military actions in Gaza and overwhelming support for the Palestinians.

Turkish justice minister, Yilmaz Tunc, called it "an ugly gesture in support of the Israeli massacre in Gaza".

Antalyaspor suspended Jehezkel from the team and announced that it was speaking to the club's lawyers about the possibility of terminating his contract.

The Turkish Football Federation condemned what it said was a gesture that "disturbed the conscience" of the Turkish public.

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Israel's defence minister Yoav Gallant accused Turkey on Monday of serving as a "de facto executive arm of Hamas" over the arrest of Jehezkel.

In a post on X, Mr Gallant reminded Turkey of Israel's swift assistance to it following last year's earthquake and called Jehezkel's treatment "a manifestation of hypocrisy and ingratitude".

During his questioning by police, the player denied accusations that he engaged in a provocative act, the private DHA news agency reported.

"I am not pro-war," DHA quoted him as telling police. "I want this 100-day process to come to an end. I want the war to end."

Jehezkel continued: "I have never engaged in anything related to politics since my arrival. I have never disrespected anyone since the day I arrived. The point I wanted to draw attention to was [the need] for an end of the war."