Due to Israel-Gaza Conflict, ATP Cancels Tennis Tournament in September in the Region

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By Justin Noel Cudaihl | August 5, 2014 2:12 PM EST

The inaugural Negev Israel Open Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) tournament in September 2014 has been cancelled due to the on-going Israel-Gaza war as the ATP organizing committee cited safety and security concerns from the military conflict as the main reason for the cancellation of the event.

REUTERS/Nir Elias
An Israeli Apache helicopter fires flares above Israel near the border with the northern Gaza Strip July 22, 2014.

The event would have been the first ATP World Tour event in the country since 1996 and was scheduled from September 15 to 21, 2014.

Official statements by Israeli tennis and ATP officials have been released via the ATP’s official website.

“We regret the ATP World Tour event in Tel Aviv, Israel, will not take place this year. Sadly, we do not feel we can proceed as planned given the situation in the region. Ensuring the security of our players, fans and all those involved in organising a world-class event, is our number one priority,“ said ATP Executive Chairman and President Chris Kermode.

“We hope to be back in Tel Aviv next year. In the meantime, and much more importantly, we hope for a swift return to peace in the region,”

"We regret the ATP's decision. We at the ITA have done everything to ensure a successful ATP event takes place in Israel. We have raised sufficient funding and have taken care of all organisational requirements,” said ITA Chairman Asaf Tochmeir.

“On this occasion, I would like to express our most heartfelt concern for the soldiers as well as our condolences for the civilian casualties. We hope to see a swift resolution to the current situation."

The Israel-Gaza conflict re-started on July 8, 2014 when Israel began “Operation Protective Edge” responding to Hamas (Gaza) rockets attack on Israel. According to recent figures, there are 1,423 Gazan deaths and 8,265 injuries and 59 deaths on the Israelin side.

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(Photo: REUTERS/Nir Elias / )
An Israeli Apache helicopter fires flares above Israel near the border with the northern Gaza Strip July 22, 2014.
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