Is­rael ar­rests 56 mem­bers far-right foot­ball fan club

The Myanmar Times - - Sport -

IS­RAEL has ar­rested 56 mem­bers of La Fa­milia, a group of far-right foot­ball fans of the Beitar Jerusalem team, over vi­o­lence and weapon smug­gling, the po­lice said yes­ter­day.

“The ar­rests, car­ried out overnight [July 25] to [July 26], were de­cided af­ter acts of vi­o­lence were com­mit­ted by mem­bers of La Fa­milia across the coun­try,” the po­lice said in a state­ment.

The ul­tra-na­tion­al­ist Jewish mem­bers of La Fa­milia, be­lieved to num­ber sev­eral hun­dred, are known for their racist, anti-Arab and anti-Mus­lim sen­ti­ments.

The Jerusalem sta­dium where their club plays is dubbed “Hell” over its cli­mate of hos­til­ity to­ward vis­it­ing teams and their sup­port­ers, with the po­lice often de­ploy­ing re­in­force­ments dur­ing matches to try to pre­vent vi­o­lence.

The ar­rested sup­port­ers were ac­cused of “tak­ing part in se­ri­ous acts of vi­o­lence, weapon smug­gling and en­ter­ing sta­di­ums with for­bid­den py­rotech­ni­cal de­vices”, the po­lice said, adding they were de­tained af­ter they re­ceived in­for­ma­tion from an in­for­mant in the far-right group.

Around 400 po­lice and border guards took part in the ar­rests, which could con­tinue in the com­ing days, the po­lice added.

Beitar Jerusalem is the only club in the Is­raeli league that has never had an Arab player.

In 2013, some Beitar sup­port­ers were an­gered by the sign­ing of two Mus­lim play­ers from Chech­nya, forc­ing the team to hire body­guards to pro­tect them.

Club of­fices were later hit by ar­son that de­stroyed all the tro­phies won by the team. –

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