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.”
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.
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'.
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.