Israeli tennis player Peer resists protesters calls to pull out of event

The Associated Press ~ staff The News
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AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Israeli tennis player Shahar Peer has rejected calls for her withdrawal from the ASB Classic tennis tournament over Israel's invasion of Gaza, saying she can take no responsibility for her nation's military action.
A New Zealand protest group said Wednesday it had written to Peer asking her to withdraw from the WTA tournament as part of a comprehensive international boycott of Israel.
The group, Peace and Justice Auckland, said it had received no reply from Peer and would protest outside the tournament venue Thursday when the fifth-seeded player was scheduled to play a quarter-finals match.
"On the eve of the tournament last Sunday evening we wrote to Shahar requesting she respect international calls for a comprehensive boycott of Israel and withdraw from the tournament," protest leader John Minto said in a statement.
Peer was provided with extra security as she played a second round match Wednesday, beating Barbora Zahlavova of the Czech Republic 6-3, 4-6, 6-2. She later told journalists she could do nothing about the politics of the Middle East.
"I have nothing to do with this," she said. "I'm Shahar Peer. I came here to play tennis. I know I'm from Israel and I'm proud of my country and that playing tennis is what I'm going to do tomorrow."

Geographic location: Israel, New Zealand, Gaza Czech Republic Middle East

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