Free Press Journal

Real Madrid to host survivor of Duma arson


Real Madrid's Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo kicks the ball during the Spanish league football match Real Madrid CF vs Real Sporting de Gijon at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on January 17, 2016. AFP PHOTO/ PEDRO ARMESTRE

Ramallah: The Palestinian Football Association (PFA) has announced that Spanish giants Real Madrid will host four-year-old child Ahmed Dawabsha in mid-March.

The young boy is the only survivor of the Dawabsha family arson, after a group of Jewish settlers set the family’s home on fire in Duma village on July 31, 2015, near Nablus, killing his mother, father and 18-month-old sibling, Ali, reports Xinhua.

PFA chairman Jibreel al-Rajoub said Saturday in a statement that the visit of Ahmed Dawabsha holds within it “great humanitarian dimensions” and expressed his appreciation to the Spanish club’s position.

Real Madrid management showed deep empathy after a photo of Ahmed was published wearing the team’s shirt while receiving treatment in a hospital, noted al-Rajoub.

Real Madrid agreed to invite Ahmed Dawabsheh, which was announced by club spokesperson Raul Serrano Quevedo in January, at the behest of the Palestinian ambassador to Spain, who approached Real Madrid with the request.

PFA secretary general Abdelmajid Hajjah told Xinhua that the idea was initiated by the Real Madrid fan club in Palestine, which was welcomed immediately by the Real Madrid management.

Hajjah explained that Dawabsha will be travelling with the fan club’s coordinator to Madrid on March 17, where Dawabsha will be visiting the team’s Santiago Bernabeu stadium.

The Duma arson was condemned internationally and by the Israeli government which said it had “zero-tolerance” to such attacks by settlers and approved measures to halt the trend, and has brought suspects to trial.

Jewish ultra-nationalists have for years vandalised or torched Palestinian properties and Islamic and Christian holy sites and cemeteries, under so called “price-tag” attacks that seek retribution for Israeli moves that settlers perceive as favoring Palestinians.

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