Israel-Protesters Gather Outside of Preseason Kings Game

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SACRAMENTO-

Yassar Dahbour came to Sleep Train Arena on Saturday night hoping to get his message out there.

"We are very offended to have an Israeli team playing in Sacramento just two months after the Israeli war crimes in Gaza killing over 21 hundred people," Dahbour said.

The Israeli team he is referring to is Maccabi Haifa, representing a city Dahbour says generations of his family lived in, but can no longer return to because they are Palestinians.

"My family was exiled from Haifa in 1948. And my family still lives in refugee camps in Syria and Lebanon," Dahbour told FOX40.

Members of the Sacramento Regional Coalition for Palestinian Rights sent leetters to all of the Kings players, owners, and coaches asking them to not attend Saturday night's game.

"Unfortunately we did not hear anything back," said Murad Sarama, with the Sacramento Palestine Coalition.

Protesters told FOX40 allowing this team to play turns a blind eye to Israel's questionable actions during this summer's war in Gaza and that this team is being used as a propaganda tool.

"Basically to show Americans that we have the same values and play basketball. Israel and the United States, they don't have the same values," said Sarama.

The Kings organization told FOX40 they had no comment on the matter. Meanwhile fans at Saturday's game said they don't see this preseason game as a political stage.

"I think it's just two teams playing, no big deal, no politics here," said Hardeep Sahota, a Kings Fan who went to Saturday's game.

But former Israeli citizen, turned Pro-Palestinian activist David Mantell said the Israeli government does use the team for propaganda purposes.

"I heard that traveling with the teams are some Israeli soldiers who were wounded in Gaza, and it's just not acceptable to do that after what's been going on," Mantel said.

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