Human Lives Human Rights: Chilean football club Deportivo Palestino paid tribute to fallen Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh raising a banner, before a local league match.
The banner displayed a picture of Abu Akleh in a press vest, her name, as well as her date of birth and the date that she was killed.
Abu Akleh, a veteran journalist for Al Jazeera network, was killed on 11 May by Israeli forces while covering refugee camp raids in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin.
Her death sent shockwaves across the globe, leading to an outpouring of grief from the Palestinian community and the journalism world.
The picture was uploaded onto the club’s official Instagram page, accompanied with the caption “more than a team, a whole nation”, alongside a Palestinian flag emoji.
Club Deportivo Palestino currently plays in Chile’s top flight, the Primera Division, and currently ranks seventh in the league’s table.
The club was founded in 1920 by Palestinian immigrants in the Chilean city of Osorno, and is currently based in the capital Santiago.
Deportivo Palestino was established as a means to aid with integration and to preserve the country’s Palestinian community- the largest outside of the Arab world. Some 500,000 people are of Palestinian descent, accounting for 2.5 percent of Chile’s population of 18 million people.
Deportivo Palestino has always displayed solidarity with the Palestinian cause and people, notably during Israel’s violent aggression on Al Aqsa Mosque worshippers, as well as a crackdown on demonstrations against the Sheikh Jarrah expulsions in May last year, where Palestinian families were threatened with forced evictions from their homes in occupied east Jerusalem.
The club’s players donned black and white keffiyehs- a prolific symbol of Palestinian identity and resistance- before a football match against fellow Primera Division side Colo-Colo.
Deportivo Palestino has also established a football academy in Ramallah, occupied West Bank, as a development space for both boys and girls, and plans to launch a second one in the Gaza Strip later this year.
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