French Minister Calls Footballer Karim Benzema ‘Terrorist’ For Supporting Palestine

2022 Ballon d’Or winner, Footballer Karim Benzema finds himself mired in political controversy amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas war. French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin accused Benzema of having connections to the Muslim Brotherhood, a religious and political group that France considers a terrorist organization.

In the televised interview, Darmanin said,

We have closed 1,100 Islamist establishments. And in recent weeks, I’ve been particularly interested, Mr. Benzema is linked, we all know it, notoriously with the Muslim Brotherhood.

Darmanin’s allegations come after Benzema posted his support for Palestinians on Sunday in Israel’s ongoing war in Gaza, which has killed at least 3,500 Palestinians, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

The former Real Madrid player wrote on X, formerly Twitter,

All our prayers go out to the people of Gaza, victims once again of unjust bombings that spare neither women nor children.

Valerie Boyer, a Senator for Bouches-du-Rhone, said in a press release that she requests “the forfeiture of Karim Benzema’s (French) nationality” if French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin’s claims are verified.

Former Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema is considering legal action against French interior minister and French Republican senator Valérié Boyer for defamation.

Benzema won the UEFA Champions League five times and scored 354 goals for Real Madrid, before making a move this past summer to Saudi Pro League team Al-Ittihad.

The striker has 97 appearances for France’s men’s national team, scoring 37 goals, and is widely recognized as one of the greatest French players of all time. He retired from international duty last year after making his senior debut in 2007.

Gaza is currently experiencing a dire humanitarian crisis with no electricity, while water, food, fuel, and medical supplies are running out. At least 471 people were killed and 342 injured in an Israeli airstrike on Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in Gaza. Israel has denied responsibility for the strike.

The conflict began on Oct. 7 when the Palestinian group Hamas initiated Operation Al-Aqsa Flood — a multi-pronged surprise attack. Hamas said the incursion was in retaliation for the storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and growing violence by Israeli settlers against Palestinians. Israeli forces have responded by raining down a barrage of air strikes on the Gaza Strip, killing at least 3,478 Palestinians, more than a thousand of them children.