Olympics: Egyptian Judo Fighter Refuses Handshake with Israeli Opponent

Egypt and Israel faced each other in the men's judo section at the Olympics. (Photo: via RT News)

The Egyptian Olympic Committee has condemned Egyptian judo competitor, Islam El-Shehabi, for refusing to shake hands with his Israeli opponent, Ori Sassoon, at the Rio Olympics, Anadolu reported on Friday.

In a statement issued to explain the situation, the Committee said that El-Shehabi was “alerted before the match to abide by all the rules and to have a sporting spirit during his match with the Israeli athlete.” His refusal to shake hands was, it insisted, a “personal” act.

El-Shehabi refused to shake hands after a match in which the Israeli competitor won; this was jeered loudly by Israeli spectators.

This is not the first instance wherein political views against Israel have been noted. The Lebanese team refused to ride in a bus with Israeli athletes on the night of the opening ceremony.


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