Friday, May 22, 2015

  • Friday, May 22, 2015
  • Elder of Ziyon
From Reuters:

The Palestine Football Association (PFA) has complained to world football's governing body FIFA that Israeli authorities held up a national team player as the squad travelled from the West Bank to Tunisia on Thursday.

The PFA said player Sameh Maraabah was temporarily detained by Israeli authorities at Allenby Bridge crossing between the West Bank and Jordan late on Thursday.

But Israel's FA (IFA) accused its Palestinian counterpart of "deliberately creating a needless provocation" and said it would make a formal complaint to FIFA.

"The PFA broke an agreement with FIFA and the IFA which requires prior notification and a list of names of the Palestinian athletes prior to their travel," the IFA said.

The team bus waited and Maraabah was eventually allowed to continue with his colleagues, who then flew from Jordan to Tunisia to attend a training camp, a PFA official told Reuters.

Israel jailed Maraabah for two months last year after he was convicted of being a courier for Islamist group Hamas.

Israel had accused Maraabah of returning from a team trip to Qatar in April 2014 bearing money, a mobile phone and messages given to him by a Hamas operative whom Israel had exiled to the Gulf state as part of a prisoner exchange.

An Israeli security official said Maraabah was questioned briefly about his travel plans and was warned by authorities not to engage in any more "forbidden activities against the state of Israel".

The incident occurred hours after FIFA president Sepp Blatter met with Israeli and Palestinian leaders and football officials to address Palestinian complaints that Israel was hampering their football activities.

PFA president Jibril Rajoub wrote to Blatter saying Israel was not abiding by its own commitment to ease travel.

"The implications of this incident can only confirm the PFA's position on the promises given by the Israeli Government; that they are only words unless they are included in a solution that can only come through, and be guaranteed by, the FIFA Congress."
Rajoub deliberately sent someone with known terror ties through without clearing it with Israel as per their agreement, knowing that Israel would detain him and therefore using it as a pretext for a new complaint against Israel.

But the headlines say "Israel detains travelling Palestine player" rather than "Palestinians engineer an incident to demonize Israel."

The terrorist Jibril Rajoub wins again.

(h/t Bob K)

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