Israel Eurovision singer Eden Golan celebrates reaching final & is among favourites to WIN as cops clash with protesters

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ISRAEL'S brave Eurovision performer Eden Golan has been seen wildly celebrating her semi-final victory with the young star now tipped to potentially win it all this weekend.

Eden, 20, has faced intense scrutiny leading up to Eurovision after huge protests broke out in Sweden with demonstrators clashing with cops over Israel's involvement in the competition.

The moment an elated Eden Golan was told she had qualified for the final of Eurovision

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The moment an elated Eden Golan was told she had qualified for the final of EurovisionCredit: AFP

Eden was ecstatic with her huge victory as she celebrated with her team

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Eden was ecstatic with her huge victory as she celebrated with her teamCredit: Reuters

Police clashed with protesters in Malmo

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Police clashed with protesters in MalmoCredit: AP:Associated Press

Protesters were seen washing their eyes after they claimed they were pepper sprayed by cops

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Protesters were seen washing their eyes after they claimed they were pepper sprayed by copsCredit: AP:Associated Press

Protesters turned their back as Eden performed with some even wearing masks and covering their ears

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Protesters turned their back as Eden performed with some even wearing masks and covering their ears

Police can be seen battling with protesters in pictures from Thursday's protests as some were left holding their faces after claiming they were pepper sprayed.

Nine people were warned about "disturbing the public order" with one man being arrested for allegedly carrying a knife, say cops.

More demonstrations are expected on Saturday when the 2024 final gets underway as extra security has been added.

Eden's powerful semi-final performance saw her belt out her controversial song Hurricane in front of a packed audience in Malmo despite the issues around the singer.

She was cheered on during the show in wake of carnage in her rehearsals where she was savagely booed by anti-Israel protesters.

Eden cheered and thanked her fans as she left the stage to rapturous applause as Israel was named as the fifth country on the night to make Saturday's grand final.

The singer is now set to enter the fiercely contested battle for Europe's most beloved act as one of the favourites to win.

Bookmakers have Eden as the second most likely victor just behind Croatia.

Several of the betting sites, including PaddyPower and SkyBet, have the two countries far ahead of the rest of the chasing pack making it a two horse race.

Israel has a good history at Eurovision as they have won it four times.

After finding out she had done enough to qualify for Saturday's final, Eden could be seen screaming and celebrating the win.

Pictures show the young singer surrounded by Israel flags and her pals pumping the air with a beaming grin on her face.

Eden looked ecstatic as she jumped up for joy as the relief poured out after what had been an incredibly tough day for the 20-year-old.

Watch shock moment Eurovision crowds BOO & shout ‘Free Palestine’ at Israeli contestant Eden Golan ahead of Grand Final

Eurovision crowds were less friendly to the Israeli singer during Thursday's song rehearsals as thousands booed and jeered her from the crowd.

Her voice was even drowned out by the cries of "Free Palestine" at some parts.

Protesters even turned their back as Eden performed with some even wearing masks and covering their ears.

Some of the crowd tried their best to help her through the stellar performance however with many applauding her.

Eden was made to perform after spending the whole day locked up in her hotel room due to scary protests.

Israel's Shin Bet security agency said they had received worrying death threats to Eden and feared terror-attack could occur due to the public outrage.

Responding to the backlash, Golan said she was "proud to represent my country".

Israel's involvement in the competition has been met with fierce criticism due to the country's ongoing war against Hamas inside the Gaza Strip.

Eden couldn't hide her pride at getting through to the final

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Eden couldn't hide her pride at getting through to the finalCredit: Rex

Despite a tricky few days in Malmo, Eden ended it with a beaming grin on her face

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Despite a tricky few days in Malmo, Eden ended it with a beaming grin on her faceCredit: Rex

Eden and her team waved Israel flags in the arena despite the heavy criticism over their inclusion

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Eden and her team waved Israel flags in the arena despite the heavy criticism over their inclusionCredit: AP

A banner with 'genocide' written in the Eurovision style

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A banner with 'genocide' written in the Eurovision style

Golan performed her original hit 'Hurricane' at the semi-finals and is now expected to be one of the front runners for the title

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Golan performed her original hit 'Hurricane' at the semi-finals and is now expected to be one of the front runners for the titleCredit: Splash

However, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which organises the event, has dismissed calls for Israel to be excluded.

The competition bills itself as a non-political event and can disqualify countries who break that neutrality rules.

In March, they asked Israel to modify the lyrics of Golan's song "October Rain" as it appeared to reference Hamas's brutal October 7 attack on Israel.

Golan unveiled the amended song, now titled Hurricane, last weekend.

Amongst the anger and threats she has faced online, Golan says she hopes her performance will help to unite people.

"It's a super important moment for us, especially this year," she said earlier this week. "I feel honoured to have the opportunity to be the voice of my country."

PALESTINE PROTESTS

Some 100,000 visitors have gathered in the southern Swedish city of Malmo for the annual event, which is taking place under the shadow of the war.

Since October, pro-Palestinian rallies have been a regular occurrence in Malmo, which is home to the majority of Sweden's population of Palestinian origin.

Police can be seen in images battling with protesters as some were left holding their faces after claiming they were pepper sprayed.

Metal barricades and large concrete blocks have been put up around Malmo Arena.

Organisers have banned all flags other than those of the participating countries inside the arena, as well as all banners with a political message.

Why Israel can compete at Eurovision but Russia can't...

ISRAEL was allowed to compete in this year's Eurovision Song Contest but Russia has been excluded since its 2022 full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Why?

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which organises the event, has defended its ruling that Israel is allowed to compete despite its war in Gaza.

It claimed that it would be a "political move" to bar Israel from competing.

Defending the inclusion of Israel, the EBU’s director general Noel Curran said, "The Eurovision Song Contest is a non-political music event and a competition between public service broadcasters who are members of the EBU.

"It is not a contest between governments."

On February 25 2022, the EBU excluded Russia from participating before it was due to perform in the semi-final.

At the time, it said Russia's inclusion could bring the competition into disrepute "in light of the unprecedented crisis in Ukraine".

Citing the 2022 exclusion of Russia this week, Curran said, “The Russian broadcasters themselves were suspended from the EBU due to their persistent breaches of membership obligations and the violation of public service values."

Israel has won Eurovision five times in the past 50 years it has taken part in the singing competition.

Police are guarding the venue and visitors need to pass through metal detectors before entering the arena and are not allowed to bring bags.

A large crowd of protesters gathered on Malmo's central square Stortorget, a few miles from the competition venue, waving Palestinian flags and shouting "boycott Israel".

Police estimate that about 5,000 people attended the demonstration with smoke canisters in the colours of the Palestinian flag being set off.

Others held banners displaying anti-Eurovision messages.

One read "welcome to Genocide song contest", while "stop using Eurovision to whitewash Israeli crimes" was written on another.

Among the protesters was climate activist Greta Thunberg.

During the march, chants of “Eurovision shame on you! Blood is on your hands too!” rung out around downtown Malmo.

While the sound of police helicopters circling overhead couldn't drown them out, officers on the ground managed to intervene and stop some of the protesters in their tracks.

The streets of Malmo, Sweden have been full of anti-Israel protesters for the Eurovision event

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The streets of Malmo, Sweden have been full of anti-Israel protesters for the Eurovision eventCredit: AFP

Eden and her team jumped up in excitement when they heard their name called out

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Eden and her team jumped up in excitement when they heard their name called outCredit: AP

Greta Thunberg was among the protesters at the event

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Greta Thunberg was among the protesters at the event

The 20-year-old managed to stun in her performance despite a tough week of protests leaving her to be trapped in her room

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The 20-year-old managed to stun in her performance despite a tough week of protests leaving her to be trapped in her roomCredit: Splash

Thousands of protesters lined the streets of Malmo

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Thousands of protesters lined the streets of Malmo
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