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Palestinian athletes to be invited to Paris Olympics: Bach

Bach said that the International Olympic Committee “from day one of the conflict” in Gaza had “supported in many different ways the athletes to allow them to take part in qualifications and to continue their training.”

OlympicsLAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND: Between six and eight Palestinian athletes are expected to compete at the Paris Olympics, with some set to be invited by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) even if they fail to qualify, its head Thomas Bach said.

Bach told AFP on Friday that qualification events for the Paris Games, which start on July 26, were ongoing for a number of sports.

“But we have made the clear commitment that even if no (Palestinian) athlete would qualify on the field of play … then the NOC (National Olympic Committee) of Palestine would benefit from invitations, like other national Olympic Committees who do not have a qualified athlete,” he said in an interview at IOC headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland.

He said he expected the Palestinian delegation to number “six to eight”.

Bach said that the International Olympic Committee “from day one of the conflict” in Gaza had “supported in many different ways the athletes to allow them to take part in qualifications and to continue their training.”

Palestinian militants from Hamas attacked Israel on October 7, resulting in the deaths of about 1,170 people, according to an AFP tally of Israeli official figures.

Israel’s retaliatory military campaign to destroy Hamas has killed 34,356 people, mostly women and children, according to the health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza.

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