Sagiv Jehezkel, the Israeli soccer player suspended from top-tier Turkish club Antalyaspor for an on-pitch protest in support of hostages held in Gaza, is returning to Israel after he was briefly detained by police, CNN reports.
Jehezkel, who had been held by police in Antalya, was suspended by Antalyaspor over the weekend after showing his bandaged wrist which had the message “100 days, 7/10” supporting Israeli hostages on Sunday.
The bandage was a reference to the Israeli hostages who had been held for 100 days in Gaza on Sunday following the deadly attack by Hamas in Israel on October 7.
A hostage release deal agreed between Israel and Hamas in late November ended after six days, with more than 100 freed. Israel believes 107 hostages are still being held in Gaza, as well as the bodies of 25 who are dead.
The prosecutor’s office announced that its procedures have been completed, but there is no indication that the investigation into the player has been dropped.
On Monday, Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz said that Jehezkel is returning to his home country.
Antalyaspor Deputy Chairman Alkan Evren said in a statement that a legal process is ongoing to terminate the contract of the 28-year-old Israeli footballer, according to Turkish state broadcaster, TRT Haber.
“I did not act to provoke anybody. I want the war to end. This is why I showed that sign,” Jehezel previously said, according to a leaked Turkish police report widely cited across Turkish media.
On Sunday, Antalyaspor announced its decision to suspend Jehezkel from the team, saying that he acted against the “national values” and was “excluded from the squad by the decision of the board of directors.”