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Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin has written to the Israel Football Association to express sorrow from the football community over the loss of life following the attack by Hamas.
Rockets were launched from Gaza and Hamas breached the border fence into Israel on Saturday, storming villages and taking dozens of hostages. Israel has said more than 1,200 people were killed. Since then, retaliatory airstrikes by Israel have killed another 1,200 civilians in Gaza, which is now subjected to a blockade preventing power and supplies reaching the inhabitants of the 25-mile-long Strip.
A letter from Ceferin has now emerged whereby he writes of “profound sorrow” for the “violence” towards the people of Israel, addressed to Israeli FA president Shino Zuares.
The letter neither makes any reference to Israel’s retaliation nor those living in Gaza.
“I am writing to express our profound sorrow upon learning about the tragic acts of violence that occurred last week in Israel, resulting in the loss of innocent lives,” it reads.
“My heart goes out to all the victims and their families during these difficult times. It is an unimaginable tragedy, and the pain and sorrow are profound and resonate across the entire football community. We sincerely hope no one will ever again experience such grief.
“I pray for these deep wounds to heal and for a world where such senseless acts of violence have no place.”
The letter, a copy of which was posted on social media by Sky’s Rob Harris, is the first communication seen by any Uefa or Fifa officials, with neither governing body officially releasing a statement regarding the attacks over the past week.
More than 5,000 civilians are estimated to have been injured or wounded since the strikes on Gaza began.
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