Israeli police on alert ahead of Celtic match

Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images

JERUSALEM (AP) Israeli police are on high alert ahead of a match between Celtic and Hapoel Beer Sheva after fans of the Scottish champion waved Palestinian flags at their last meeting.

Spokesman Micky Rosenfeld says hundreds of police will be deployed in and around the stadium to “ensure that it is a sport event and not a political event,” and that flags will be removed if necessary.

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Political banners and protests are banned at matches organized by the Union of European Football Associations.

UEFA charged Celtic over fans displaying Palestinian flags at a Champions League match with the Israeli team last week. Celtic fans often wave Palestinian flags at matches but many more were seen during that match.

Tuesday’s winner advances to the elite 32-team group stage.