Two months ago, Mohammed Khalil was simply protesting peacefully near the border between Israel and Gaza where he was shot in both of his legs by an Israeli sniper amidst the Great March of Return. The entire incident was caught on camera because Khadil recorded the footage on his phone, revealing the exact moment in which he was wounded.
“I was peacefully participating in the demonstration,” revealed Khalil. “I was taking a selfie to remember the march and I was directly targeted by Israeli occupation snipers. I was shot in my right and left legs, my kneecap area had to be removed.”
He was a Palestinian footballer, playing for Al-Salah football club in Gaza, however his career came to an abrupt end after doctors told him he could never play football again. Khalil held a promising football career, yet now all he can do is hope that someday he will walk again.
Now, he’s playing a crucial role in activism by joining with the BDS movement to call for the cancellation of the friendly match on June 9th between Argentina and Israel. There have already been rumours concerning the dissolution of the match, due to players voicing uneasiness over their safety when travelling to Israel after the violence that has occurred during the Great March of Return and the establishment of the US Embassy in Jerusalem.
Khalil is calling on Lionel Messi and Argentina to stand in solidarity with the Palestinians and cancel their match with Israel. Palestinian footballers in Israel have little hopes of achieving success in the sport they love due to Israel depriving their right to freedom of movement. The Jewish state have already agreed to pay 3 million dollars to host the match, which will likely be moved from Jerusalem to Haifa due to security reasons.
“I call on the Argentinian team and especially captain Lionel Messi because he is very popular in Palestine, particularly in the Gaza Strip, to stand in solidarity with Palestinians and to boycott the scheduled game with Israel, who is occupying our land,” said Khalil.