Maccabi Haifa Pro palestinian protest clash lille
Pro-Palestinian protesters scuffle with players of Israeli team Maccabi Haifa in Austria   YouTube

Pro-Palestinian protesters disrupted a friendly football match and scuffled with players from Israeli team Maccabi Haifa in Austria.

The pre-season friendly between Maccabi and French team Lille was coming to an end when a small group of troublemakers waving Palestinian flags stormed the pitch in the alpine town of Bischofshofen.

Video footage of the incident showed a Maccabi player tripping a protester before a brawl erupts. Protesters and players also traded punches and kicks.

Ynet newspaper reported pro-Palestinians tried to attack former Chelsea player Yossi Benayoun, who is the captain of the Israeli national team.

Maccabi defender Samuel Scheimann claimed that one of the rioters was armed with a pocket knife.

Maccabi coach Aleksandar Stanojevic was also said to have punched a protester.

After the prolonged commotion, stadium security intervened calming down the situation and the players walked back to the changing rooms.

Police said no one was injured. The match was called off three minutes before the final whistle.

The Israeli team said the protesters were mainly of Turkish origin. It said that, during warm-up training and most of the match, players and management were barracked with hostile chants by a few dozen fans waving Turkish and Palestinian flags.

The handful of troublemakers who eventually stormed the pitch attacked two Maccabi players, Dekel Keinan and Idan Vered, the club said.

"The players started to defend themselves and only then did police took action and stopped the event," the team said in a statement.

"We condemn the violence against us, we play football, and we are sorry that the game was suspended, but what happened had nothing to do with sport or football, it was because we are a team that represents Israel."

The ongoing Israel-Palestinian conflict has exacerbated communal tensions in Europe.

France, Germany and Italy have recently condemned a surge in anti-Semitism, which have seen protests and violence hit the countries on the backdrop of Israel's military operation in Gaza.

More than 600 Palestinians and 35 Israelis, including three civilians, have been killed in over two weeks of fighting.