The Hamas Movement has applauded the withdrawal of a junior Lebanese table tennis player from the world table tennis tournament in Portugal to avoid facing an opponent from the Israeli occupation state.
In a brief statement on Saturday, Hamas spokesman Jihad Taha expressed his Movement appreciation for the withdrawal of 11-year-old athlete Bisan Shiri from an international tennis championship after a draw placed her against an Israeli rival player.
Spokesman Taha said that Shiri’s withdrawal from such an international competition reflected the nobility of the Lebanese people and their honorable Arab position against the culture of normalization with the occupation state.
Earlier this month, Lebanese tennis player Mohamed Ataya quit the Cyprus international championship to avoid challenging an Israeli rival.
A number of Lebanese athletes’ participation in international sports events has seen withdrawals recently after draws placed them in matches against Israeli players.
Many athletes from other Arab or Muslim countries have also boycotted playing against Israelis in sporting matches in recent months and years.