Thomas Bach, president of the IOC, in Paris on 26 July. GETTY IMAGES

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach welcomed a delegation from the National Olympic Committee (NOC) of Palestine led by its President, Jibril Rajoub, at Olympic House in Lausanne on Wednesday.

Welcoming the delegation, the IOC President said that the IOC's thoughts were with the many innocent victims of the current conflict in the region and their families. He stressed that the IOC very much hopes that a peaceful solution can be found as soon as possible.

During the meeting, President Bach reiterated how sport can bring hope for peace. Both NOCs in the region, the Palestinian NOC and the NOC of Israel, are recognised by the IOC and operate on an equal footing within the Olympic Movement

They have been participating in peaceful coexistence for decades. Despite the tragic circumstances, Palestinian NOC President Jibril Rajoub reiterated his NOC’s commitment and efforts in ensuring the participation of a team from the NOC of Palestine in the upcoming Olympic Games Paris 2024. "Our athletes look forward to representing the NOC of Palestine in Paris alongside all the other NOC teams from around the world," he said.

President Bach reiterated that the IOC will continue to support the NOC and its athletes as much as possible in their preparation and qualification for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, in particular through the Olympic Solidarity Programmes. He congratulated the NOC on the success of Omar Yaser Ismail, the first Palestinian taekwondo athlete to qualify for the Olympic Games.

The IOC is also supporting a number of other Palestinian athletes who are actively trying to qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Among them is swimmer Valerie Tarazi, who was part of the NOC delegation that visited the IOC. She said she was fully committed to taking part in the Games and competing against the world's best swimmers in Paris.

In this context, the issue of inviting Palestinian athletes under the universal quota was discussed, as well as the medium and long-term perspective of how the IOC, through its Olympic Solidarity Programmes, will support the best athletes from the Palestinian NOC during their preparation and qualification for the LA28 Olympic Games and beyond.

In addition, President Rajoub presented the Palestinian "Palestinian Sports Revival Plan" and requested the IOC's support. President Bach agreed that the IOC would coordinate an international effort to mobilise funding from various international donors for this plan, which aims to rebuild the destroyed sports facilities on the territory of the Palestinian NOC. The plan sends a strong message of hope to the entire Olympic community in Palestine.