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Kuwaiti fencer refuses to face Israeli player in Dubai contest

A Kuwaiti fencer has withdrawn from the World Fencing Championships held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to avoid facing an Israeli counterpart, following similar measures taken by a host of Muslim players from across the Islamic world.

A Kuwaiti fencer has withdrawn from the World Fencing Championships held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to avoid facing an Israeli counterpart, following similar measures taken by a host of Muslim players from across the Islamic world, reported by ABNA.

Kuwait's fencer Mohamed al-Fadli pulled out of the annual competition in Dubai after he refused to play with an Israeli opponent, the Palestinian Information Center reported on Monday.

Pro-Palestine activists hailed Fadli's decision, describing the move as “part of Kuwait’s supportive positions towards the Palestinian cause” and its opposition to normalizing ties with Israel.

Fadli also withdrew from an international tournament in the Dutch capital, Amsterdam, in September 2019, after the draw placed him in a group competing with an Israeli player.

Back in late May last year, Kuwait’s National Assembly unanimously approved bills that outlaw any deals or normalization of ties with the Tel Aviv regime.

On August 18, 2020, 37 Kuwaiti lawmakers called on their government to reject a normalization deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

This is not the first time that Muslim sportspeople from across the Islamic world have refused to face Israeli contestants in a variety of sports events in protest at the occupying entity's crimes against Palestinians and in opposition to normalization of relations with Israel by some Arab countries.

Back in January, Kuwait’s tennis player Muhammad al-Awadi also withdrew from an international tennis tournament in the UAE after he was told that he was going to face a representative from the Israeli regime.

In July 2021, Algerian judoka Fethi Nourine withdrew from the 2020 Summer Olympics in the Japanese capital city of Tokyo, after the draw set him on course for a possible showdown against an Israeli opponent.

During the same month, Sudanese judoka Mohamed Abdalrasool also withdrew from the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, becoming the second athlete to pull out of the international multi-sport event to avoid facing an Israeli opponent.

Last August, Lebanon's Abdullah Miniato also withdrew from the international mixed martial arts (MMA) competition in Sophia, Bulgaria to avoid a match against an Israeli opponent.