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Israel permitted to compete at Eurovision 2024

Israel permitted to compete at Eurovision 2024
© Reuters
Israel are given permission to compete at this year's Eurovision Song Contest amid the ongoing conflict in Gaza.

Organisers of the Eurovision Song Contest have confirmed that Israel will be allowed to participate in this year's competition.

In recent weeks there have been calls for the country - four-time winners - to be excluded due to the ongoing conflict in Gaza, which has seen almost 30,000 Palestinians killed to date.

Russia and ally Belarus both remain banned from Eurovision following the 2022 invasion of Ukraine, with supporters of the ban on Israel arguing that similar sanctions should be levelled.

More than 400 celebrities and key industry figures have signed an open letter opposing a potential ban, meanwhile, including the likes of Gene Simmons, Helen Mirren and Boy George.

In a statement, EBU director general Noel Curran said: "The Eurovision Song Contest is a non-political music event and a competition between public service broadcasters who are members of the EBU. It is not a contest between governments.

"Our governing bodies... did review the participants list for the 2024 contest and agreed that the Israeli public broadcaster KAN met all the competition rules for this year and can participate, as it has for the past 50 years."

This year's Eurovision is due to take place in Malmo, Sweden between May 7 and 11.

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