Palestinian soccer federation complains against Israel

Head of the Palestinian soccer federation complains to FIFA over Israel preventing PA soccer players from entering Judea and Samaria.

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Elad Benari,

Jibril Rajoub
Jibril Rajoub
Flash 90

The head of the Palestinian soccer federation, Jibril Rajoub, on Sunday submitted a complaint to the international soccer governing body, FIFA, after Israel prevented seven Palestinian Arab soccer players and staff from traveling from Gaza to Judea and Samaria.

Rajoub said the Shabab Khan Younis players were attempting to attend the final Palestine Cup match in Hevron. The game, scheduled for Saturday, was postponed, reported The Associated Press (AP).

The Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) said the team members were barred due to "severe negative security background."

This is not the first time that Rajoub has turned to FIFA to take action against Israel. In 2015, he campaigned to have Israel suspended from FIFA because, he claimed, Israel was restricting the movement of Palestinian Arab players.

However, he withdrew the bid at the 11th hour, sparking anger among Palestinian Arabs, some of whom have demanded Rajoub’s resignation.

And, just last week, Rajoub demanded that Jewish soccer clubs from Judea and Samaria be expelled from the Israeli league because they are "operating on Palestinian land". A leftist group which backs Rajoub's request said that if these Israeli teams aren't expelled from the Israeli league the entire Israeli league may find itself expelled from FIFA.

Rajoub, who is a senior member of Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mamhmoud Abbas’s Fatah movement, is known for his inciting statements against Israel, which include claiming in a television interview that Nazi leader Adolf Hitler could have learned from Israel about extermination camps.

He has suggested in the past that Israel "should be removed", and has also supported Hamas's threats to kidnap IDF soldiers on PA TV.








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