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    The sky is illuminated by explosions from Israeli military operations over the outskirts of Gaza City as seen from the Israel-Gaza Border. FILE PHOTO

    Gaza Militants Threaten Eurovision in Tel Aviv With Rocket Attack - Reports

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    The Eurovision Song Contest is scheduled to take place between 14 May and 18 May in Tel Aviv, and coincides with Nakba Day, which commemorates the displacement of Palestinians after the War of Independence.

    Gaza militants have threatened the Eurovision Song Contest with rocket attacks if Israel refuses to reach an agreement with Hamas on lifting the blockade around Gaza, Channel 20 reported on Monday.

    A video that has been circulating in the Palestinian media in April has reportedly insinuated that Gazans would attack Israel and the contest if their demands were not met.

    The graphic footage begins with images of Eurovision, and states, “You are invited to the big event,” written in Hebrew and Arabic.

    “But…” In an ominous change of music and tone, the video warned, “Don’t celebrate and dance when there are two million Gazans suffering. If you want to celebrate, lift the siege and come to an agreement, don’t digress.”

    READ MORE: Palestinian Authority Asks Russia to Pressure Israel On Tax Cuts

    Subsequently, the video zooms out, offering a satellite bird’s eye-view of targeted hypothetical Eurovision buildings. Rocket sirens can be heard, and the sound of an explosion, accompanied by the words, “Implement the understanding so you can hold the festivities,” appear on the screen.

    It is not yet clear who released or created video.

    The Eurovision Song Contest is scheduled to take place between 14 and 18 May in Tel Aviv, while 15 May is the date when Palestinians observe Nakba Day, the “Day of the Catastrophe”, in commemoration of their displacement in 1948 after Israel’s declaration of independence and the ensuing war.

    Nakba Day was inaugurated by Yasser Arafat in 1998 and, since then, Palestinians around the world mark the day with marches, speeches and rallies.

    Eurovision 2019 is taking place in Israel, since the Song Contest is normally hosted by the previous year’s winner. Israel won the contest in 2018, with their act Netta singing her way to the top of the points table with her song 'Toy'.

    READ MORE: Palestine to Seek Int'l Response to Possible Israeli Annexation of West Bank

    The European Broadcasting Union, which organises Eurovision, has said the decision to choose Tel Aviv, Israel’s cultural and commercial capital, as host city was taken simply because of its “creative and compelling bid”.

    The 64th Eurovision Song Contest will take place at Expo Tel Aviv (International Convention Center).

    Relations between Israel and Palestine have been shattered for decades. Palestinians seek diplomatic recognition of their statehood on the territories of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, which is partially occupied by Israel, and the Gaza Strip. The Israeli government refuses to recognise the PA as an independent political and diplomatic entity, and builds settlements in the occupied areas, despite objections from the United Nations.

    Related:

    Hamas Threatens Israel Will be Forced to Evacuate Tel Aviv in Possible Gaza War
    French Consulate Worker Jailed in Israel for Smuggling Arms From Gaza
    Tags:
    Gaza protests, Israel, Eurovision, European Broadcasting Union, Netta Barzilai, Yasser Arafat, Gaza Strip, Israel, Tel Aviv
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