The Israeli national team plays its chances to access the European Football Championship for the first time in 10 days. The first of four games, the one against Kosovo, is also Israel’s first outing after the outbreak of the conflict with Hamas. The match, which was originally scheduled for October 15, will be played in Pristina. The match is defended by impressive security measures, and the stadium is armored by police forces.
While the national anthem is being playedHatikva” (Hope), Israeli players paid tribute to at least 239 hostages still being held by terrorists in Gaza after the October 7 Hamas attack, mimicking the half-heart symbol, indicating that the heart will not be whole until their return. Team representatives hug and cry at the end of the national anthem, but the moment is marred by loud whistles from the rare Kosovo fans. In the afternoon, a large Palestinian flag appeared on a large building in Pristina next to the Ukrainian flag, with the inscription Free Palestine.