The Football Association (FA) has announced plans to honor victims of the Israel and Palestinian conflict during England’s international friendly against Australia at Wembley Stadium on Friday.
England and Australia players will wear black armbands and observe a moment of silence before kick-off at 2:45 p.m. ET.
“On Friday evening, we will remember the innocent victims of the devastating events in Israel and Palestine,” the FA said in a statement on Thursday.
“Our thoughts are with them, and their families and friends in England and Australia and with all the communities who are affected by this ongoing conflict. We stand for humanity and an end to the death, violence, fear and suffering.”
The statement added that no banners or signage bearing political statements will be allowed in the stadium.
“We will only permit flags, replica kits and other representations of nationality for the competing nations inside Wembley Stadium for the upcoming matches against Australia [on October 13] and Italy [on October 17].
Earlier this week, UK opposition Labour Party leader Keir Starmer had said that he thinks the arch of Wembley Stadium should be lit in the colors of the Israeli flag.
“I think the message has to go out that we stand with Israel, the UK stands with Israel, and that is a manifestation of that support,” Starmer told LBC radio station.
The decades old conflict between Israelis and Palestinians entered uncharted territory this week after Hamas’ October 7 onslaught, when armed militants poured over the heavily-fortified border into Israel.
The gunmen killed more than 1,200 people and wounded thousands more in a coordinated rampage through farms and communities.
Israel has stepped up its offensive in Gaza after the attacks. At least 1,354 people have been killed in Israeli strikes on Gaza since Saturday, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, including hundreds of women and children.
Thousands more have been wounded as Israeli air strikes continue to pummel the densely populated strip, decimating buildings, reducing entire streets to rubble and trapping residents.
Hamas is also holding as many as 150 people hostage in Gaza, according to Israeli authorities, and Israel’s energy minister Israel Katz said that Gaza will not be provided with any electricity, water or fuel until the hostages are returned home.
England manager Gareth Southgate said on Thursday that the images coming out of Israel are “harrowing.”
He told reporters: “Thoughts and feelings are to everybody who has suffered, who has lost relatives and friends in these attacks, it’s incredibly disturbing to see.
“On a broader scale, in my lifetime it’s one of the most complex situations in the world and I think everybody is grappling with how best to deal with that. I don’t know what it’s like to walk in the shoes of people on either side of that conflict.”
Alexander Čeferin, the president of European soccer governing body UEFA, has written to the head of the Israeli Football Association (IFA) expressing “profound sorrow” over the “senseless acts of violence” in Israel.
“On behalf of UEFA and the European football community, I am writing to express our profound sorrow upon learning about the tragic acts of violence that occurred last week in Israel, resulting in the loss of innocent lives,” Čeferin said in the personal letter to Shino Moshe Zuares, the president of the IFA.
“My heart goes out to all the victims and their families during these difficult times. It is an unimaginable tragedy, and the pain and sorrow are profound and resonate across the entire football community.”
Earlier on Thursday, UEFA said that Israel’s Euro 2024 qualifier against Kosovo scheduled for Sunday has been postponed “as the Israeli authorities currently do not allow their national team to travel abroad.”
A new date for the October 15 fixture is yet to be announced. UEFA has already postponed all soccer matches scheduled in Israel over the next two weeks due to the conflict.
Meanwhile, the English Premier League said that it “is shocked and saddened by the escalating crisis in Israel and Gaza” and “strongly condemns the horrific and brutal acts of violence against innocent civilians.”
CNN’s Jacob Lev and Thomas Schlachter contributed to reporting.