Photo Credit: Hadas Parush / Flash 90
Cyclist race to the finish line of the 2nd stage of the Giro d'Italia, one of the most prestigious road cycling races in the world, in Tel Aviv, on May 5, 2018.

The Palestinian Authority Sports Authority has condemned the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain as “shameful” for their participation in the international Giro d’Italia bike race that for the first time this weeks was held in Israel.

All of the cyclists on the Gulf states teams were naturalized citizens, according to a tweet quoted by the Al Araby news network. The two nations were among 22 teams that competed in the Grand Tour, the first time the competition was held outside Europe.

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The “Palestine Olympic Committee” said in a statement on Sunday that the two Gulf states committed “high treason” with their participation in the race.

“This sets a very dangerous precedent that reaches the level of high treason to the struggles of the Palestinian people and their sacrifices,” the statement said. “The committee condemns in the strongest terms the shameful participation of Emirati and Bahraini cyclists in the race.”

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.