Photo Credit: YouTube screengrab / NEXTA TV
Paris is burning following Morocco's loss to France in the World Cup semi-finals on December 14, 2022

Thousands of Arab fans of the Morocco national soccer team rioted late Wednesday night in Ramallah, Jerusalem, Brussels (Belgium) and France over their team’s loss to France in the World Cup semi-finals.

Morocco lost to France 2-0.


Jerusalem and Ramallah
In Jerusalem, Arab fans were seen cheering Morocco despite the team’s defeat, but joy was soon transformed to violence.

Young Arab rioters in the Palestinian Authority capital city of Ramallah broke chairs in the central Al Manara Square.

In the Israeli capital, Jerusalem, Arabs hurled a cinder block at the roof of a police car, causing serious damage to the vehicle.

No physical injuries were reported. Police launched a search for the suspects.

France and Belgium
In Brussels, 100 disappointed fans hurled live fireworks and other objects as police officers who used tear gas to disperse the mob.

Fans of Morocco also rioted across France, which has a huge population of Moroccan Arabs.

Violent clashes broke out between fans of the two sides in Montpellier and in Paris; live fireworks were hurled at fans celebrating France’s victory in the northern French city of Lens. Fires were set by rioters in Lyon.

Fans of the two sides fought each other in the streets of Nice as well, launching flares at one another and setting fire to trashcans while police swung batons and used water cannons to disperse the rioters.

Teenager Killed While Attacking Vehicle
A 14-year-old boy was killed after he was “violently” run over by a “reckless driver” in Montpellier, a local official said.

The boy was allegedly part of a mob of Moroccan fans who tried to stop a driver waving the flag of France. The boy tried to rip the flag off the car as the mob attacked the vehicle, prompting the driver to panic and swerved in an attempt to escape, hitting the teenager as he fled, according to multiple reports.

In Paris alone, France deployed some 10,000 police officers – 2,200 of them on the Champs-Élysées. More than 100 rioters were arrested in Paris, according to N World.

Some 10,000 additional police officers – including those who were uniformed and in plainclothes — had also been deployed across the country to “ensure the match remains a party,” Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin told reporters on Tuesday. Riot police were deployed in the southern cities of Marseille and Avignon and public transportation was halted in the city centers ahead of the match.

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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, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.