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Israel barred from World Ice Hockey champs for security reasons – official

The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) on Thursday barred Israel from its world championships to ensure the “safety and well-being” of all participants, including Israelis.

“The IIHF Council took this decision after careful consideration and based on a risk assessment, discussions with the participating countries and discussions with the hosts,” the federation said in a statement.

Israel will remain excluded “for the time being”, the IIHF said.

The Israeli men’s team were scheduled to play a Division II-A world championship tournament in Serbia in April against teams including Australia and the United Arab Emirates.

The federation’s move comes with Israel locked in a war in the Gaza Strip.

The war erupted when Hamas militants stormed across the Gaza border into Israel in an unprecedented attack on October 7 which left some 1,140 people dead, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on official Israeli figures.

Israel has vowed to eradicate Hamas and has kept up a relentless bombing of Gaza, which the Hamas-run health ministry says has killed at least 23,469 people, mostly civilians.

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