Celtic fans smash £110k target for Palestine charities

Celtic fans waving Palestinian flags against Hapoel Beer-Sheva. Picture: John Devlin

Celtic fans waving Palestinian flags against Hapoel Beer-Sheva. Picture: John Devlin

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Celtic fans who started a campaign to raise £15,000 for Palestinian charities have broken their latest target - of £110,000.

The campaign, named #MatchTheFineForPalestine, was set up to equal any UEFA fine handed down to Celtic as punishment for fans waving Palestinian flags at the recent match with Hapoel Beer-Sheva.

More than 6,000 people have donated to the fundraiser, started by Celtic supporters group the Green Brigade, in less than 72 hours.

After initially setting a target of £15,000 - the same as the fine dished out to Celtic by UEFA the last time the club was charged after fans waved Palestinian flags at a match - organisers have had to continually revise the target as donations continue to flood in from football fans across the world.

With Celtic due to play Hapoel Beer-Sheva at the Turner Stadium in Beersheba in a matter of hours, the total donations received currently stands at more than £111,000 with the new target set at £120,000.

The organisers had initially planned to split the £15,000 raised between two Palestinian charities - Medical Aid Palestine (MAP) and the Lajee Centre, a Palestinian cultural base in the Aida Refugee Camp near Bethlehem.

There are also plans for the Lajee Centre to enter a football team in the Bethlehem Youth League in 2017, with the club being named Aida Celtic.

A recent update from organisers stressed that all money raised above the targets would continue to be split on an equal basis between MAP and the Lajee Centre.

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