Dressed in a uniform with the Israeli flag and the words “Am Yisrael Chai” written on his shoulder, Israeli fencer Yuval Freilich wins a gold medal in Qatar, home of the Hamas leadership


Israeli fencer Yuval Freilich won a gold medal at the 2024 Qatar Grand Prix, becoming the champion in the country where the Hamas leadership is located.

Freilich, 29 years old, won the papal title in Doha while wearing a uniform with the flag of Israel and on his shoulder is written “Aam Yisrael Chai”, Hebrew for “Aam Yisrael Chai”. As in previous periods of crisis, the expression became a rallying cry for Israel in its war with Hamas.

After Freilich’s victory, the Israeli national anthem was played in the arena during the podium ceremony – a rarity in a country with no official diplomatic ties to Israel.

The win brings Freilich closer to qualifying for the Paris 2024 Olympics.

“Winning in Qatar and raising the Israeli flag at times like this on this unique stage is Israeli pride at its peak,” said Gili Lustig, CEO of the Israel Olympic Committee, according to the Times of Israel.

Despite its lack of formal relations with Israel, Qatar has become a key interlocutor in the ceasefire negotiations between Israel and Hamas due to its unique position: in addition to hosting the political leadership of Hamas and financing the group, Qatar is also home to the American military. Base.

And in the 2022 World Cup, which was hosted by Qatar, Israeli fans were allowed to participate – although Israeli officials warned them to “downplay” their “Israeli identity”.

Freilich, who started fencing at the age of five, is currently ranked 8th in the world in adult men’s singles. He won Israel’s first fencer title in the individual men’s tournament at the European Fencing Championships in Germany in 2019.

Freilich, who was born to immigrant parents from Australia, is an observant Jew who in 2008 sued the Israel Fencing Association to prevent it from holding competitions on Shabbat. Freilich lost the lawsuit and began competing on Saturdays.

In 2011, Freilich won the European Cadet Championships, and the following year he won the World Cadet and Men’s Fencing Championships, becoming the top-ranked cadet in the world. He also won the European Junior Men’s Championship in 2014 and 2015.

Freilich’s gold medal in Qatar is a rare bright spot for Israeli athletes following the outbreak of war after the October 7 invasion of Hamas. Israeli athletes and teams in other international sports competitions have faced repercussions on and off the field due to anti-Israel protests or their public support for their country.

liked this content?
Donate to Israel Net and help us create more quality content with which we can fight for the righteousness, international status and strength of the State of Israel.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

A Boost of zionist energy directly to your Inbox!

Israelnet’s newsletter is full of news and updates on everything that happens in Israel – exclusive content, unique media, analyzes and commentaries, blogs and premium content that you won’t find anywhere else.