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Israel and Palestine are 'committed to Olympic spirit'

Staff WritersAAP
An installation of The Olympic rings, made of recycled steel, are displayed on the Eiffel Tower. (AP PHOTO)
Camera IconAn installation of The Olympic rings, made of recycled steel, are displayed on the Eiffel Tower. (AP PHOTO) Credit: AAP

Israel and Palestine are "committed to the Olympic spirit" at Paris 2024 amid the ongoing war in Gaza, according to International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach.

War has raged in the Gaza Strip since Hamas' attack on southern Israel on October 7 last year, which killed 1,200 people and saw another 250 taken hostage.

According to Gaza's health ministry earlier this month, at least 36,000 Palestinians have been killed and more than 70,000 injured during the conflict.

"We are in contact with both National Olympic Committees from day one of this armed conflict or war," Bach told an IOC media briefing in Lausanne, six weeks ahead of the Paris Games getting under way.

"We have followed the request to assist both National Olympic Committees.

"In this context both National Olympic Committees have made it clear to us that they are committed to the Olympic spirit and the Olympic mission of understanding and peace, and that they will come to Paris in this spirit.

"This may not be easy given the emotions one or the other way. But we are very confident that the athletes from Palestine will be very proud to have the Palestine flag presented, and that they appear there as a fully recognised National Olympic Committee with all what this means - the anthem, the flag, the uniforms.

"I'm sure they will be very proud and follow the Olympic spirit, and we are very confident the same will be true for the Israeli athletes on the other side."

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