The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is not considering “sanctions” against Israel for the Paris Olympics, a senior official of the Olympic body assured Friday, after French left-wing deputies demanded that Israeli athletes participate under neutral banner. In a letter dated February 20 to IOC President Thomas Bach, around thirty deputies from France Insoumise (LFI) and environmentalists demanded “to apply to Israel, during the next Olympic Games, the same sanctions as to Russia and in Belarus, while leaving open the possibility of lifting these sanctions in the event of a lasting ceasefire.

“Today there is no question of considering sanctions,” said Pierre-Olivier Beckers, the president of the coordination commission for the 2024 Olympics, on Friday, interviewed during a press conference at the headquarters of the Olympic Committee. organization of the Paris Olympics. “The elements which led the IOC to sanction Russia first and the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) then, are specific elements, for which Russia and more recently in October 2023, the ROC, have clearly flouted essential elements of the Olympic charter,” explained Pierre-Olivier Beckers.

“This is neither the case of the Palestinian Olympic Committee nor the Israeli Olympic Committee (…) which coexist peacefully with each other. It is quite clear that these are two different situations,” he added. In February 2022, the IOC recommended that international federations ban Russians and Belarusians from world sport a few days after the invasion of Ukraine. A year later, in March 2023, the IOC announced to allow the return of these athletes to international competitions under a neutral flag, under conditions, before deciding on December 8, 2023 to authorize them to participate in the Paris Olympics under a neutral flag.

Meanwhile, on October 12, 2023, the IOC suspended the Russian National Olympic Committee (ROC) for having placed four Ukrainian regional organizations under its authority. The war between Israel and Hamas was triggered on October 7, 2023 by an attack carried out by Hamas commandos, which resulted in the deaths of at least 1,160 people, most of them civilians, according to an AFP count carried out in from official Israeli data. In retaliation, Israel vowed to annihilate Hamas, in power in Gaza since 2007, which it considers a terrorist organization along with the United States and the European Union. His army launched an offensive which has so far left 30,534 dead, mostly civilians, according to the Islamist movement’s Ministry of Health. “The question of suspending Israel did not arise,” Thomas Bach told the Swiss newspaper 24 Heures on Wednesday.