Major Spanish football team Real Madrid will be welcoming on March 17 a young Palestinian boy whose family was killed in an arson attack committed by Israeli settlers last year, the Palestinian Football Federation said on Saturday.
Ahmad Dawabsha, 5, was the sole survivor of a deadly arson attack carried out by extremist Israeli settlers on his family home in the northern West Bank village of Duma on July 30 last year. The child lost both his parents, Saad and Riham, as well as his 18-month-old brother, Ali.
Federation president Jibril Rajoub said in a statement that Real Madrid “sympathized with Dawabsha after a photo of him wearing the team’s uniform in his hospital bed went viral,” and agreed to host Ahmad later this month.
Ahmad will be accompanied by two adult family members, as well as a representative of the Palestinian Real Madrid supporters club.
A campaign for Ahmad to meet his idol Cristiano Ronaldo has garnered international support in past months.
Several Israelis were arrested in late 2015 over the deadly arson attack on Ahmad’s family. In January, two Israelis, one of them a minor, were charged with three counts of murder and being an accessory to murder.