Palestinian football association to demand FIFA expel Israel

February 16, 2014
Sarah Benton

The report of the shooting of the two teenagers is followed by a brief extract from an earlier report that the PA has taken up their case; 3rd, Inside World Football on the demand for the expulsion of Israel from FIFA; last Mondoweiss on the same demand and the withdrawal of FIFA’s invitation to Mohammed Assaf.

Poster advertising the World Cup in Brazil where Pop Idol winner Mohammed Assaf and Colombian Shakira had been booked to sing at the opening ceremony. The invitation to Assaf, who lives in Khan Younis camp Gaza, has been withdrawn with no explanation. It is reported that Shakira will now refuse to sing in protest at Assaf’s treatment. See 3rd item

Palestinian footballers shot by Israeli forces never to play again

By Ma’an news
February 14/16, 2014

BETHLEHEM — Two young Palestinian football players shot by Israeli forces last month have learned that they will never be able to play sports again due to their injuries, according to doctors.

Doctors at Ramallah governmental hospital said the pair will need six months of treatment before they can evaluate if the two will even be able to ever walk again, at best.

Jawhar Nasser Jawhar, 19, and Adam Abd al-Raouf Halabiya, 17, were shot by Israeli soldiers as they were walking home from a training session in the Faisal al-Husseini Stadium in al-Ram in the central West Bank on Jan. 31.

Israeli forces opened fire in their direction without warning as they were walking near a checkpoint.

Police dogs were subsequently unleashed on them before Israeli soldiers dragged them across the ground and beat them.

The pair was subsequently were taken to an Israeli hospital in Jerusalem, where they underwent a number of operations to remove the bullets.

Medical reports said that Jawhar was shot with 11 bullets, seven in his left foot, three in his right, and one in his left hand. Halabiya was shot once in each foot.

The two were taken to Ramallah governmental hospital before being transferred to King Hussein Medical Center in Amman.

Chairman of the Palestinian Football Association Jibril al-Rajoub condemned the shooting and said that “Israeli brutality against them emphasizes the occupation’s insistence on destroying Palestinian sport.”

Rajoub called for imposing penalties on the Israeli football association, and demanded its removal from the FIFA as it should not accept racist organizations that do not adhere to international law.

Israeli police dogs mauled Palestinian teens shot at checkpoint

By Ma’an news
February 01/03 2014


BETHLEHEM — A lawyer for the Palestinian Authority ministry of prisoners’ affairs Tariq Barghouth alleged on Saturday that Israeli forces launched attack dogs on two Palestinian youths after shooting them multiple times on Thursday night at a checkpoint near Jerusalem.

Adam Abd al-Rouf Jamous, 17, and Jawhar Nasser al-Din Halbieh, 19, were mauled by police dogs after Israeli forces opened fire on them without warning near al-Zayyem checkpoint near Abu Dis east of Jerusalem on January 30, Barghouth said.

Barghouth added that he had visited the pair in the hospital and found that they had suffered severe injuries, both as a result of the bullets fired at them as well as a results of the beatings, which had caused numerous broken bones.

He added that were being held in the hospital under guard by three Israeli soldiers.

He pointed out that both of the youths had been shot numerous times all over their bodies.

Bargouth said that occupation authorities had prevented the families of the two prisoners from visiting them in the hospital and that he planned to launch a complaint against the Border Guard soldiers for their brutal treatment of the youths.

Zurich, February 3rd 2014, ‘Evaluation Meeting’ between R, Avi Luzon, President Israel FA, L, Jibril al Rajoub, President Palestine FA and centre, FIFA President Sepp Blatter. Photo by Kurt Schorrer / foto-net.

Palestinians to demand FIFA expels Israel and say they have support

By Inside World Football
February 14, 2014

Jibril Rajoub, chairman of the Palestinian Football Association, has said they will seek the expulsion of Israel from FIFA at the next FIFA Congress, and that he has the support of other Arab and North African nations.

Palestine has been demanding that Israeli security forces ease the travel restrictions on footballers and officials attending matches, and in some cases even training development sessions.

Last week Rajoub, speaking exclusively to Insideworldfootball, warned that he will call for Israel’s expulsion from FIFA unless it shows greater willingness to ease the plight of his country’s players and officials. This week he told reporters that the resolution to expel Israel will be made at the Congress in Brazil before the start of the World Cup in June.

“We will demand the expulsion of Israel from FIFA and the International Olympic Committee,” Rajoub is reported as saying.

He says he has the support of Iran, Qatar, Oman, Jordan, Algiers and Tunisia already, and will seek further backing from Arab states during the March 14 meeting of Arab ministers responsible for youth.

He has also called for international recognition of the Palestinian Football Association as a national Palestinian organisation.

The latest statement from Rajoub indicates there will be no compromise on his part. FIFA recently set up a mediation Task Force and last week Rajoub met with his Israeli counterpart Avi Luzon and FIFA President Sepp Blatter in Zurich.

After the meeting Blatter announced he was pleased with the progress that had been made and that he will once again travel to the region in April in a bid to further improve relations between the two sides.

Blatter ideally wants Israel and Palestine to sign a formal co-operation agreement at or around the Congress. But Rajoub sees this possibility as being a long way off.

Rajoub told Insideworldfootball that Luzon’s hands were tied by the Israeli government. “He said he wanted to help but that he couldn’t and that the issue had to be discussed with the relevant Israeli authorities. In a way I can sympathise with this position but it was a clear message.

“I welcome Mr Blatter’s initiative for ending the suffering of the Palestinian footballers and ending the restrictions imposed by the Israeli occupation. It’s not just players. You are talking about instructors, consultants, anyone who wants to come to Palestine. They have to wait for hours to get permits.”

But he was not encouraged that significant progress had been made and cited a recent AFC-organised club tournament in Palestine when, he claimed, even the AFC’s own commissioner, who was from Sri Lanka, was detained for several hours.

“This is the way the Israelis are behaving and I see no sign that they have recharged their mental batteries,” said Rajoub. “There is no change on the ground. We are a full FIFA member and have the same rights as all other members.”

Contact the writer of this story at

FIFA President Sepp Blatter (R) and Palestinian Football Association chairman Jibril Rajoub attend a ceremony awarding Blatter an honorary doctorate degree at An-Najah National University in the West Bank city of Nablus, July 7, 2013. Rajoub has now called on FIFA to expel Israel for failing to abide by its conventions. Photo by Abed Omar Qusini /Reuters

Mohammed Assaf banned from performing at FIFA World Cup

By Annie Robbins, Mondoweiss
February 13, 2014

The invitation to Arab Idol winner Mohammed Assaf to sing at the opening of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil this summer has been rescinded.

Flocked by fans and admirers at a press conference in Gaza City on Tuesday, Assaf said he was prevented from performing at the World Cup 2014 opening ceremony by “states and other actors ‘unknown’.” Assaf also said that Shakira, also scheduled to perform at the opening ceremony, will protest FIFA’s decision by refusing to perform as well.

News publication Emirates 24/7 , of Dubai Media Inc., the official media organization of the government of Dubai, is reporting Shakira, is boycotting the ceremony.

Arab Idol singer Mohammed Assaf says he has been banned from singing at the opening of the World Cup 2014 in Brazil and that the Colombian singer Shakira has decided to boycott the ceremony in protest at the ban,

Assaf, a Palestinian living in Gaza Strip, wrote on his social network page that he has just been notified about the decision cancelling an agreement with him to sing at the World Cup, which will kick off in June.

“I have been banned from singing at the World Cup opening in Brazil by some countries and parties which I do not know,” he said, according to the Saudi daily Sada and other regional newspapers.

“This decision has prompted Shakira to apologize from singing at the ceremony,” he added without giving further details.

The significance of FIFA’s invitation to Assaf, issued directly after the announcement he had won the Arab Idol competition, cannot be over stated. It signaled his talents and meteoric rise that quickly followed were recognized not just within the Arab world but to much wider audiences and the emergence of Assaf on the global stage.

That seems like a long time ago now, especially after his whirlwind North American tour sweeping audiences off their feet. It remains to be seen what kind of pressures will come to bear on FIFA after the news of their disastrous decision permeates the mainstream.

But whatever the outcome one thing is certain, there will be no holding Mohammed Assaf back, his destiny as a global superstar, is already sealed.

Unfortunately Mohammed Assaf was not able to perform in Gaza during his recent visit. Although concerts were planned and approved by Hamas’ Ministry of Culture their Ministry of Interior did not approve the plan.

In other soccer news, the Jerusalem Post reported yesterday that Palestinian Football Association chairman Jibril Rajoub is calling on FIFA to expel Israel for failing to abide by its conventions, and said the PA would ask FIFA for Israel’s expulsion from the organization.

From the Jerusalem Post article, PA to ask FIFA to expel Israel:

“We will demand the expulsion of Israel from FIFA and the International Olympics Committee,” Rajoub told reporters in Ramallah.

He said that the Palestinian demand for the expulsion of Israel would be presented to FIFA during the organization’s next conference in June.

Rajoub also called for international recognition of the Palestinian Football Association as a national Palestinian organization.

He said he would seek the backing of Arab ministers of youths during their upcoming meeting on March 14 for the demand to expel Israel from FIFA.

He said that Iran, Qatar, Oman, Jordan, Algiers and Tunisia have already pledged to back the Palestinian demand.

Rajoub claimed that Israel does not want the Palestinians to have their own national sports entity and seeks to break the Palestinians’ athletic will.

Thanks to Phil Weiss

© Copyright JFJFP 2023