Handshake Refusal Brings Mideast Tensions to Rio

Egyptian athlete refuses to shake hands with Israeli athlete
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 12, 2016 3:05 PM CDT
Egypt's Islam El Shehaby declines to shake hands with Israel's Or Sasson after losing Friday during the men's over 100-kg judo competition at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio.   (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

(Newser) – Tensions in the Middle East appear to have spilled over into the Rio Olympics, as an Egyptian athlete refused to shake hands with an Israeli athlete following a judo match Friday, Reuters reports. After winning the match, Israel's Or Sasson bowed to Egypt's Islam El Shehaby and went to shake his hand. Instead of shaking hands, El Shehaby quickly backed away from Sasson as the crowd booed. (Video here.) According to Deadspin, El Shehaby is known to have anti-Israel views and had considered not even fighting. Muslim athletes have refused to compete with Israeli athletes in the past. Neither El Shehaby nor Sasson commented on the incident after the match. (Read more Rio Olympics stories.)

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