Shaked Stern, a devoted fan of Hapoel Haifa of Israel’s premier soccer league (second place, behind Hapoel Beer Sheva) on Saturday night posted on her Facebook page:
Yes, I took my son for the first time to a soccer game.
Bnei Sakhnin against Hapoel Haifa ended 2: 2
Good game by both teams.
At the end of the game, the announcer asks our audience to stay until the Sakhnin fans leave.
But meanwhile, groups of kids are organizing with stones in their pockets for throwing.
During the ride out, one of them flew through the window of our vehicle.
Luckily it hit me and not my baby.
I hereby call on the Football Association to shut down this stadium!!!
Shaked later expanded: “I understood from other fans that they called out ‘Yehud’ at them and threw stones. This is not my first time in Doha. I’ve been there with my husband and there was nothing out of the ordinary. This time we came with our one-year-old and three-month-old boy. Luckily, he doesn’t understand. I screamed and cried. It’s not easy to go through such an experience. We called the police and they stayed with us on the line. They sent us a location until we left Sakhnin and then we filed a complaint.”
Bnei Sakhnin F.C. (the name means sons of Sakhnin, an Arab city in the Lower Galilee) are the most successful Arab-Israeli club, having won the State Cup in 2004. They are currently in 5th place in the top league, having already beaten one of the country’s best clubs, Maccabi Tel Aviv earlier in the season. Their stadium, named Doha, after the capital of Qatar, was donated by the Emir of Qatar.
Hapoel Haifa fans, who came to Doha in large numbers, told Ynet that their cars were pelted with stones as they were leaving the stadium parking lot. “We left the game in a convoy and drove slowly, and then, while driving, we came across boys throwing stones,” the fans recalled. “We immediately locked the windows and continued driving and they continued to throw stones. We were not harmed.” The fans later called the Haifa club’s management, who in turn called the police. One patrol car showed up.
Shaked told the ONE website: “I wasn’t injured physically except for a stone that hit my back. I was in total shock. I am a resident of Misgav (a regional council of some 35 towns, moshavim and kibbutzim near Sakhnin). I have never experienced racism or violence. We left the stadium and then on the way we saw a group of small children who had stones in their pockets. I protected my son and luckily my child, my husband, and I were not seriously injured. It was scary. We couldn’t push down the gas pedal because there was nowhere to go, the traffic was very slow. I didn’t see the stone that was thrown but I felt it on my back. If I had not protected my son and bent down, he might have been hurt. There has never been a problem in Sakhnin before. Since this story, I will not go in there again and I hope that they will receive their punishment and their field will be closed down.”
Otzma Yehudit Chairman MK Itamar Ben Gvir said on Sunday: “The writing was on the wall. It is very serious that the Football Association has not found it appropriate to close Doha stadium until this moment. I have warned several times, including in a discussion held at the Knesset Internal Security Committee chaired by MK Meirav Ben-Ari, where I asked representatives of the association why Doha was not closed. I demand that the stadium be closed down today. It is time for the association to stop giving celebrity discounts to Sakhnin.”
B’nei Sachnin vs. Hapoel Haifa (2:2), Nov. 6, 2021: