Arab athlete who refused to compete with Israeli ‘would be a Hamas fighter’

“I will never stop supporting the Palestinian cause no matter what.”

By World Israel News Staff

An Algerian judoka who refused to fight an Israeli opponent at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics has said he wants to become a member of the Hamas terrorist organization, Israel National News (INN) reported.

“You are the pride of Palestine and the Arabs,” said Fethi Nourine in an interview with the Palestinian news agency Shehab. “Keep the same principles and approach. I would be a soldier and a fighter with you.”

Nourine was suspended from all international competitions in September by the International Judo Federation (IJF) for refusing to face Israeli judoka Tohar Butbul at the Olympics, which he said he was doing in order to boycott Israel in support of the Palestinian cause.

“I decided to retire after the decision to suspend me for 10 years,” Nourine said in a video posted to social media this month, which was quoted by INN.

“I know that the international federations have always colluded with Zionist terrorism, especially the International Judo Federation, and perhaps the best proof is that my sentence has remained the same even after an appeal was filed,” he continued.

And despite the suspension, he added, “I will never stop supporting the Palestinian cause no matter what.”

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Butbul ultimately did not medal in his weight class, but he was a member of the Israeli team that won a bronze medal in the first-ever mixed team competition.