Ahed Zaqout, a former Palestinian national team player, has been killed by an Israeli bomb that hit his apartment in Gaza, Palestinian medical officials said on Thursday.
Neighbours and medics who rushed to Zaqout's apartment said he was killed on Wednesday while sleeping in his bed. The 49-year-old was not known to belong to any particular political entity and had never expressed clear political views.
The fair-haired midfielder captained the junior national side and turned out once for the full national team in 1994 in a friendly against a team of French stars that included Michel Platini.
"Palestine has lost one of its best players, he may have been the best midfielder we ever had," Gaza sports journalist Khaled Zaher told Reuters.
More recently, Zaqout turned to coaching and hosted a sports show on national Palestinian television.