Israel Olympics sanctions 'out of the question': IOC. GETTY IMAGES

The International Olympic Committee has no plans to sanction Israel over its war in Gaza before the Paris Olympics. "It's out of the question to think about sanctions (against Israel) at this stage," said Pierre-Olivier Beckers-Vieujan.

Some Palestinian activists and a group of left-wing French MPs, have called for Israel to be sanctioned by the IOC for the war in Gaza. The head of the IOC's Paris 2024 coordination committee said the Gaza conflict and the war in Ukraine, for which Moscow was suspended by the IOC, were "different situations".

"The reasons that led the IOC to sanction first Russia and then the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) are very specific. Russia and more recently the ROC have undermined essential parts of the Olympic Charter. That's not the case with the Palestinian Olympic Committee or the Israeli Olympic Committee. It's clear that these are different situations," he told AFP.

Pierre-Olivier Beckers-Vieujant, head of the IOC's Paris 2024 Coordination Committee. GETTY IMAGES
Pierre-Olivier Beckers-Vieujant, head of the IOC's Paris 2024 Coordination Committee. GETTY IMAGES

Four days after the war between Russia and Ukraine began, the IOC called on all international sports federations to exclude Russian and Belarusian athletes from their competitions and to cancel future events in Russia. IOC President Thomas Bach said afterwards that Russia had violated the Olympic Charter and the Olympic truce signed shortly after the Beijing Olympics. 

The IOC suspended the Russian Olympic Committee in October last year after it accepted regional sports organisations in Russian-occupied eastern Ukraine as members. Russian and Belarusian athletes will be allowed to compete at this year's Paris Games as neutrals, outside team events and as long as they do not actively support the war in Ukraine. 

The IOC estimates that only eight Russian athletes and three Belarusians have qualified as neutrals, although there is growing speculation that Russia will boycott the entire event. Bach said this week that Israeli athletes would receive special protection during the Paris Games. "Measures will be taken," he said in remarks quoted by the Swiss newspaper 24 Heures. 

"The Israelis must feel comfortable during the Games. Everyone must be treated equally, whether in the Olympic Village or elsewhere. Everyone must be respected and have a respectful attitude."