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Turksih protesters at game
Photo: AFP
Turkish fans blow Israeli team's game in Ankara
Rioting crowd storms court, forcing Israeli players to flee to locker room despite heavy police security

Israeli basketball team Bnei Hasharon was forced to cancel a game against Turkish team Telekom Ankara in the Turkish capital on Tuesday, after thousands of local fans chanting anti-Israel slogans stormed the court.

 

The fans protested the Israeli military operation in Gaza.

 

The Israeli players were forced to flee to the locker room and hid there as police warded off the rioting crowd.


'Crazed fans chanting anti-Israel slogans' (Photo: AP)

 

The fans chanted "God is Great" and "Killer Israel." At least one fan threw his shoe at Israeli players but police used riot shields to protect them as they left the court. The Turkish players also headed to the locker room.

 

A pro-Islamic group earlier set an Israeli flag on fire outside the arena.

 

Bnei Hasharon Chairman Eldad Akunis spoke to Ynet as the crowd stormed the court: "It's crazy what goes on here. There are 3,500 crazed fans shouting ''Allahu Akbar' and 'Death to the Jews.' There are 1,000 policemen at the court and another 500 non-uniformed officers. I've never seen something like this in my life."

 

Point guard Meir Tapiro added, "We're hoping to get out of here as soon as possible. It's clearly impossible to play basketball like this."

 

Aharon Weisberg and AP contributed to the report

 

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