‘A Slice of Watermelon’ – Football Fans in Germany Handed Caps With Palestine Solidarity Symbol

Football fans in Germany were handed caps embroidered with images of watermelons in solidarity with Palestine. (Photo: video grab)

Football fans in Germany were handed caps embroidered with images of watermelons as a symbol of solidarity with Palestine before several UEFA EURO 2024 group matches in the past few days.

The solidarity caps were distributed before the Spain vs. Italy match on June 20 in Gelsenkirchen, Türkiye vs. Portugal game on June 22 in Dortmund, and Scotland vs. Hungary match on Sunday in Stuttgart, reported the Anadolu news agency.

“We want to make our voice heard here about the (Israeli) oppression committed against our Palestinian brothers,” Mehmet Simsek, one of the sponsors of the voluntary event in Germany, told Anadolu.

“It is impossible to turn a blind eye to this genocide (against Palestinians). The people who commit this genocide (in Gaza), have faced a genocide in the past. Now they (Israel) are committing it,” he added.

Curbed by Police

German police however prevented volunteers from handing out the caps to fans in Gelsenkirchen.

“Nearly 50,000 caps were produced. We wanted to hand out these caps here, but it was not allowed by police,” Simsek said.

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The watermelon has become an iconic symbol of resistance, with its colors – red, green, white and black – sharing the same colors as the Palestinian flag. The flag was banned when Israel seized control of the West Bank and Gaza Strip and annexed East Jerusalem, following the 1967 war. Although the flag has not always been banned, the watermelon has been used as a symbol, time and again, throughout Palestine’s modern history.

The caps were also handed to fans at the BVB Stadion Dortmund before the Türkiye vs. Portugal match on Saturday.

Vahdettin Bayram, a Turkish volunteer, told Anadolu that the caps were distributed to help voice “the oppression in Gaza to Europeans.”

Turkish Sponsorship

Bayram said that as part of Türkiye’s stance on Palestine, Turkish businessmen in Germany made 50,000 watermelon logo caps to raise awareness of the Israeli attacks on Gaza.

He said the volunteers were acting against the injustice in Gaza, reportedly Anadolu, and they will continue to hand out caps until the end of the European Championship on July 14.

Volkan Baran, a German politician of Turkish descent and North Rhine-Westphalia deputy wore a watermelon cap before the Türkiye vs. Portugal match.

“The world shouldn’t close its eyes to what’s happening in Palestine,” Baran reportedly said. “There was an attack on Israel (last October), but unfortunately the response was very disproportionate. In a court decision, the UN told Israel to stop the war but unfortunately, it didn’t.”

Volunteers carried out the same activity before Sunday’s match between Scotland and Hungary at Stuttgart Arena.

I think what is happening in Palestine is a complete genocide,” Yasin Yilmaz, a Turkish volunteer, told Anadolu, adding that humanity is disregarded on this issue.

“A watermelon slice (on the caps) symbolizes Palestine and its colors. It also tells us that Palestine is a piece of it.”

Ongoing Genocide

Currently on trial before the International Court of Justice for genocide against Palestinians, Israel has been waging a devastating war on Gaza since October 7.

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 37,598 Palestinians have been killed, and 86,032 wounded. Moreover, at least 11,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip.

Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

The Israeli war has resulted in an acute famine, mostly in northern Gaza, resulting in the death of many Palestinians, mostly children.

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The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all over the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba.

Israel says that 1,200 soldiers and civilians were killed during the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation on October 7. Israeli media published reports suggesting that many Israelis were killed on that day by ‘friendly fire’.

(Anadolu, PC)

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