Lionel Messi`s Facebook post on Israel-Gaza conflict stirs controversy

By Jayanta Oinam | Last Updated: Aug 24, 2014, 14:40 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: Lionel Messi became the latest victim of the ongoing Israel-Gaza conflict. The Argentina and Barcelona star has been dragged into the conflict after his Facebook call to end the violence in the region.

In the post, the four-time Ballon d`Or winner used a picture of an injured Palestinian boy, which prompted many pro-Israel social media users to ask Messi for similar tributes to Israeli victims.

On August 7, Messi wrote in his Facebook post “As a father and a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, I am terribly saddened by the images coming from the conflict between Israel and Palestine, where violence has already claimed so many young lives and injured countless children.”

“Children did not create this conflict, but they are paying the ultimate price. This cycle of senseless violence must stop. We must reflect on the consequences of military conflicts and children must be protected,” Messi added.

Pro-Israel social media users responded to his post with a call to also acknowledge the death of four-year-old Daniel Tregerman, who was killed by a mortar fired from Gaza. However, Messi`s original Facebook post appears to have been taken off, but it can still be read on other Messi fan pages.

Tregaron, a Messi fan, is reportedly the first Israeli child to be killed since the beginning of the Operation Protective Edge on July 8. His images on social media show him wearing a Messi jersey of Barcelona. The stand-off has reportedly killed at least 2,097 Palestinians, majority of them are kids while on the Israel had lost 68 lives so far.

One of the social media post said “Hello messi, take a look at that boy, daniel tregerman, wearing the national jersey of the best player in the world”. Other posts on different social media platforms addressed to Messi, drew the player`s attention to their share of tragedies.

Whereas some other users blamed Messi`s team, FC Barcelona`s sponsor, Qatar Airways, for funding the Hamas in Gaza.