A Palestinian singer performs on the rubble of a building that was recently destroyed by Israeli airstrikes, in Gaza City, on May 14, 2019. On the ruins of a residential building in the Gaza Strip destroyed by Israeli war jets, a group of Palestinian singers on Tuesday sent out an anti-Israeli message to the Eurovision Song Contest being held in Israel. (Xinhua)
GAZA, May 14 (Xinhua) -- On the ruins of a residential building in the Gaza Strip destroyed by Israeli war jets, a group of Palestinian singers on Tuesday sent out an anti-Israeli message to the Eurovision Song Contest being held in Israel.
The concert, named "Gaza Message," was organized by about 10 Palestinian singers, who sang Palestinian folklore songs in several languages such as Arabic, English, French and Spanish.
Kamel Musallam, the concert's organizer, told Xinhua that Israel is trying all the time to "cover" its criminal acts against the Palestinian people in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
"Israel welcomes the Eurovision Song Contest to tell the world that it is a state of peace, but on the ground, you can see the real face of the Israel as a criminal," Musallam said.
"We choose this destroyed building to tell the world that Israel attacks us here in Gaza most of the times, but we are going to continue our lives and singing for happiness, peace and future," Musallam added.
The concert was held after the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 was launched Sunday in Tel Aviv, Israel. Thousands of fans came to cheer delegations from 41 countries that take part in the competition.
The 64th Eurovision edition consists of three main events, including two semi-finals held on Tuesday and Thursday, and the final on Saturday.
The theme of the contest is "Dare to Dream," which symbolizes inclusion, diversity and unity, the organizers said.
Musallam said that Israel chose the first anniversary of the U.S. embassy's transfer to Jerusalem as the date to hold the Eurovision Song Contest in a bid to "cover" its crimes against the Palestinians.
"The Palestinians will not forget that bloody date," he added, referring to the violent clashes that have been continuing between Palestinian protesters and Israeli forces along the Gaza-Israel border since May last year.
On May 14 last year, Israeli army snipers killed 60 Palestinians and injured 2,700 others while they were holding protests against the transfer of U.S. embassy to Jerusalem.
The destroyed building, named Abu Qamar, located in the center of Gaza City, was attacked on May 5 by Israeli war jets during the latest round of conflict between Israel and Palestinian factions in Gaza.
"Can you look at the Palestinian people here? Israel is singing now and showing you the good side of Israel, but here in Gaza and on the ruins, you can see the real criminal face of Israel," said Mohammed Shaban, 25, who sang English songs in the Gaza concert.
"Israel will not live in stability and peace while it is continuing its violations against the Palestinians," he said.
"Eurovision hosts the talents from all over the world except the Palestinian people, and this denied our right to participate in the contest," Shaban said, adding that talented Palestinian singers can win and host the contest in Palestine.
Last year, Israeli novice singer Netta Brazilai won the Eurovision in Lisbon with her song "Toy." The winning brought the competition to Israel in 2019 as its tradition of passing the hosting rights to the champion's country.
The Eurovision contest started with just seven participating countries in 1956.