Hundreds of soccer fans riot in Jaffa, shout ‘Death to the Arabs’

Eyewitnesses say Maccabi Tel Aviv supporters started bar brawl, began throwing chairs at patrons and glass bottles at parked cars

Hundreds of soccer fans rioted in Jaffa on Saturday night, with residents saying they hurled racial epithets, damaged property, and provoked fights with passersby.

The incident by supporters of the Maccabi Tel Aviv team followed a derby game against Hapoel Tel Aviv.

It saw hundreds of fans pour into the streets of Jaffa, with some picking a fight with patrons at a nearby bar. During the ensuing brawl, the Maccabi fans shouted “Death to the Arabs,” according to eyewitnesses.

“The police probably stopped the fans at Clock Square, so they came back this way in a run and in the pandemonium, they broke our hookahs,” said Jimmy Bechar, a customer at a hookah bar where the fights broke out, according to the Ynet news site. “We asked them, ‘What happened?’ and we ran away so that they don’t trample us. In a moment, some of them started shouting ‘Death to the Arabs’ and tried to attack us.”

The fans “threw chairs at us from the cafe and threw glass bottles at the neighbors’ car. I didn’t need medical treatment, but my face is swollen,” he added.

Footage from the scene shows police officers mounted on horses attempting to disperse the throngs of fans.

No arrests have been made, according to the Haaretz daily.

It was not clear if there were any injuries in the altercations.

Maccabi Tel Aviv, the reigning Premier League champion, has been recently rocked by allegations that two of its players committed statutory rape by having sex with two underage girls. The players, who have been questioned by police, have maintained that the girls misled them about their ages.

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