Translate

Sunday, March 29, 2015

CHAPTER IV: Beyond the FIFA mechanism: Reaching a deadend, while transgressions still go on


CHAPTER IV: Israeli Transgressions against Palestinian Sports: Beyond the FIFA Mechanism


The FIFA Task Force mechanism, an attempt by FIFA to ease the suffering of Palestinian football, was started after the FIFA 63rd Congress in Mauritius in June 2013, when the congress voted to give FIFA President Mr. Joseph Blatter a mandate to address the complaint raised by the Palestine Football association regarding the inability to develop the game of football because of the Israeli occupation . It was reviewed in the following FIFA Congress in Sao Paulo, in June 2014.The FIFA congress had heard the report of FIFA President Sepp Blatter on the mechanism  (involving both the Palestine and Israel Associations), and had unanimously voted in a proposal by the President to develop the mechanism and try to fix its many shortcomings. A neutral monitor was appointed after the FIFA 64th Congress with a mission to oversee the proceedings of communication between the parties involved, and make sure FIFA intervenes to address any issues that may arise. The monitor presented both his report and resignation to the FIFA Executive committee in December 2014, and the Task Force reached a dead end. 

The facts of the matter are that:


1- The Israel Football Association (IFA) continue to assume the position of the Israeli political and military authorities, as reflected in:
  •  The demand by the IFA, sent in a letter to FIFA on 25 August 2013 that “the Palestine Football Association MUST operate through the formal channels of the state of Israel” is a serious violation of Article 17-1 of the FIFA statutes that  clearly states that “Each Member shall manage its affairs independently and with no influence from third parties.”
  • The absence of a stance by the IFA against its government’s policy to hinder the development of Palestinian football, which makes it extremely difficult for the PFA to benefit from the rights and carry on the obligations stipulated in articles 12-1/d-e, 13-b and 13-e of the FIFA statutes.
 2- The IFA continues to organize football official activities in areas under the jurisdiction of another association, including allowing clubs in illegal Israeli colonies located in internationally recognized Palestinian territories (as per UN Security Council resolutions  (S/RES/242) and (S/RES/338), and UN General Assembly resolution (A/RES/67/19) to play, and be registered, in the Israel FA league, which constitutes a violation of articles 10-1, 13-1/i and 17-1 of the FIFA statutes.

3- The absence of a stance by the IFA, against discrimination and racism, in the areas under its jurisdiction, which constitutes direct violation of article 3 of the FIFA statutes:
  • “Beitar Jerusalem FC” which is an Israeli professional football club from Jerusalem, and a member of the Israeli Premier League, continues to embrace racism, unchecked. Eli Cohen, The manager of the club, had told Israel’s Ynet that “There’s a difference, and it makes a difference, between a European Muslim and an Arab Muslim and the fans here have a problem with Arabs living in the Middle East.” The racism of said club was reported by an ESPN documentary; yet, no serious measures were taken against the club.
  • Only in Israeli soccer can a club block Arabs from joining its ranks, and harsh violence is treated solely as a disciplinary infraction, to be handled by the Israel Football Association’s internal court.

This said, Palestinian football still faces hindering difficulties such as follows:



  1.  Limitations of movement for players within the West Bank.
  2. Impossibility for the PFA clubs established in East-Jerusalem, notably two of the Palestinian Premier League clubs, to develop their activities and play at home.
  3. Limitations of movement for PFA officials (for ex. Executive Committee members) and players between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, in particular for the players selected for the Palestinian national team who cannot join training camps, play in their clubs in the Palestinian Premier League and face arrest upon returning from international football competitions.
  4. Issuance of permits for foreign delegations based on arbitrary decisions (for ex. permits issued excluding some players or the coach of a team without any explanation, permits issued only on the day of the competition, permits refused for referees and match delegates, etc…).
  5. Humiliating treatment at the border by the relevant Israeli authorities to both Palestinian players/officials and foreign delegations, including FIFA, AFC, and EUFA officials  (for ex. delayed authorization to cross even when the permits have been issued, aggressive and harassing questioning, etc…).
  6. Violent acts by Israeli security forces during football matches (for ex. stoppage of matches, training sessions, arrests) and/or closure of clubs without explanation including in areas under the authority of the Palestinian National Authority.

This report details all the transgressions committed by the Israeli occupation authorities against Palestinian Football since , starting from where the last report (CHAPTER III) left off:

Note: New reports info collected by Ms. Majd Hijjeh from the "Unit for monitoring Israeli transgressions against Palestinian Sports", and edited by the writer of this blog

  • Israeli Occupation Forces arrest players from Beit ummar Club:       

  • On Wednesday Sep 3, 2014 at 3:30 a.m, an Israeli occupation army force arrested Rasheed 'Ali 'Easa 'Awad, 17 years old, holder of ID# (4021691217), and a football player of Beit Ummar Football club. The Israeli force surrounded Rasheed's house in Beit Ummar village, south of Palestine, and arrested him under the pretext of throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at Israeli occupation troops. Rasheed is still in prison pending trial. He had been arrested for the first time on July 18, 2012 and had been sentenced to a twelve- month jail time. He was released on August 18, 2012.



  • On Wednesday, September 3, 2014, at 3:00 a.m, an Israeli occupation army force arrested Easa Ali 'Easa 'Awad, 27 years old, holder of ID# (850426784), and a football player from Beit Ummar Football team. The Israeli occupation forces surrounded Easa's house in Beit Ummar village, south of Palestine, and arrested him under the pretext of throwing stones at the monitoring towers of Israeli occupation troops. Easa is still in prison without pending trial. Rasheed had been arrested twice before; The first time on March 10, 2009, when he had been sentenced to a seven-month jail time under the pretext of throwing stones. He was released on October 26, 2009. He was arrested for the second time on March 10, 2013 and sentenced to nine-month jail time under the same pretext and released on Dec. 17th, 2014.
                                                              
  • On Sunday , September 7,  2014  at 4:00 am, an Israeli Armed Force arrested player Ahmed Abdulla Qassem Manasra, 26 years old, player in Bani Ne’im Sport Club, holder of ID # (410 265 873). The force surrounded the house, before they handcuffed Ahmed, and forced him  into a military jeep. He was then taken to the Kiryat Arba’a settlement, and afterwards to Etzion camp, south of Bethlehem. In the morning of September 7, 2014, he was transferred to Ofer camp, where he underwent interrogation for allegedly throwing stones at Israeli troops, then returned to Etzion. He stayed in Etzion for six days, after which he was submitted to three military courts that were all  postponed. Ahmed was transferred again to Ofer Camp where he stayed for 29 days, then to Eshel prison where he stayed for another 21 days. He was then submitted to two trials that were postponed while he got transferred, on December 22, 2014, to Raymond Prison/Section (3) after being sentenced  6 months imprisonment and a fine of 2500 NIS (651 USD). He was released on February 15, 2015 (012)

           



  • On Monday November 3, 2014 at around 3:30 a.m, an Israeli occupation army force arrested Mahmoud Muhammad Musleh 'Awad26 years old, holder of ID# (520314139), and the defender of Beit Ummar Football club . 'Awad was arrested when he was attending his cousin's trial, Mu'ayad Tumar at Ofer Court/Beituniya, west of Ramallah, under the pretext of throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at Israeli occupation troops.  On Feb 3, 2015,  'Awad underwent a military trial and was sentenced to a seven-month jail time and charged a NIS 4000 fine ($1000). This was the second arrest of 'Awad who had been arrested for the first time on Oct 7, 2013 and had been sentenced to a five-month jail time under the same previous pretext.  He was released on Feb. 20th, 2014.      
                                                                           

  • In December 24, 2014, an Israeli Armed Force arrested Dora Al-Qari' FC player Muhammad Lutfi Ramadan Azubaidi, 21 years old and holder of ID No# (854543121). Muhammad had been arrested before, back in 2012, when he was sentenced to serve a five-month jail time and a pay a fine of NIS 2000 ($500). He was released in July 2012, only to be arrested again on December 24, 2014, under the pretext of throwing stones at the Israeli occupation soldiers. His trial was postponed five times till February 15, 2015. He is still imprisoned. (023)


  •    On‎ Thursday, December 25, 2014, an Israeli Armed Force arrested player Khaled Al-Sheikh, football player of Beit 'Anan club, 25 years old and holder of ID No. (405037086). The Israeli occupation forces ambushed Khaled as he was outside his house, in his town, and arrested him under the pretext of throwing stones at the Israeli occupation troops, and burning tires in protests . His trial was postponed four times before he was sentenced during the fifth trial to a four-month jail time and a fine of NIS 2000 ($500). He is still imprisoned till now. (021)

                                 

  • On Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 3:30 a.m, an Israeli occupation force arrested Mu'ayad Walid Ibrahim Tumar, 22 years old, holder of ID# ‎(520314139), and a football player of Beit Ummar Football Club.‎ The Israeli force raided Mu'ayad's house in Beit Ummar village, south of Palestine, and arrested him under the pretext of throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at Israeli occupation troops. ‎Mu'ayad is still imprisoned pending trial.         


   

  • On Sunday, February 2 , 2015 at 3:30 am, an Israeli Armed Force arrested player Walid Abdullah Qasim Manasra,  30 years old , holder ID # (410 235 857), and player in Bani N’eim sports club .The Force had besieged the house of Walid’s father, Abdulla Qassem Manasra, taking Walid by force to Etzion Prison for interrogation. An Israeli intelligence officer who identified himself as “Yossi” spoke to Walid’s father by phone, afterwards, and informed him that his son Walid is in Etzion prison.Walid, who is married and father to a son and three daughters, was accused of throwing stones at Israeli forces, and until the moment this report was written, he hasn’t been tried. (014) 

                                                     


  • On Wednesday 11 February, 2015 at 2:30 a.m, an Israeli occupation army force arrested Muhammad Ayman Muhammad Ikhleil21 years old, holder of  ID# (854181260), and a football player registered in Beit Ummar Football club. The Israeli occupation forces surrounded Ikhliel's house in Beit Ummar village, south of Palestine , and arrested him for a consecutive third time under the pretext of throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at Israeli occupation troops. Ikhleil was arrested for the first time on the 7th of August, 2011 and sentenced to one- month and 14 days jail time. He was released on September 21, 2011 before he was arrested again on September 10, 2012 and sentenced to eight-month jail time under the same previous pretext. He has been charged of a total fines of NIS 6000 ($1500). 

                                   
      
  • On Wednesday, February 2, 2015 at 3:55 am, an Israeli Armed Force arrested Ex-player Salem Mohammed Mahmoud Taraarh, 47 years old, holder of ID# (911655918), and Ex-Member of the board of Bani N'eim Youth Club. Salem was taken by force from his house in the village of Bani N’eim, and was charged with throwing stones at Israeli troops. He was sentenced by the military court in Ofer camp with 7-month imprisonment and a fine of 2000 NIS (521 $)After his sentence, he was transferred from Ofer prison to Raymon prison, and His family was not allowed to visit him. (015)

  • On Sunday, February, 8, 2015 An Israeli occupation force arrested Yousef Muhammad Mahmaoud Al-Sheikh, football player of Beit 'Anan Club, 21 years old and holder of ID No# (860053990). He has not been charged, and his trial has been postponed four times already. (020)

                      
  • On Tuesday, 28 April, 2015 at 3:15 am, an Israeli Armed Force arrested player Muhammad Abed AL Fatah Arar, 18 years old, holder of ID# (854181260), and a football player of Beit Ummar Football club (juniors). The Israeli force surrounded Muhanad’s house in Bani N’eim, a village, east of Hebron, and arrested him under the pretext of throwing stones at Israeli occupation troops. Muhanad is still in prison pending trial. He was taken to Etzion encampment -south of Bethlehem.

       Worthy of note is that his arrest has caused Muhammad Arar, a High                  School student, to miss his GCE (General Certificate Exam).(011)
         


  • On Sunday, May 4, 2014 at 3:30 a.m., an Israeli armed force arrested Abdelrahman Khaled Khader Hmeidat , 25 years old, holder of ID# ‎(852931773), and a football player of Bani Ne’im FC.‎ The Force arrested Abdelrahman from his place of work in Israel, and took him to Ashkelon prison for a 40-days interrogation. He was transferred between Ofer camp and Raymon, before he was taken to Eshel prison. The military court in Ofer charged him with “incitement against the State of Israel”, and sentenced him, on March 23, 2015, a 32-months imprisonment and a fine of 2000 NIS  (521 $).  Abdelrahman was injured during his arrest, due to excessive violence by the Israeli army force which made the arrest. He was treated in captivity, and is currently detained in Eshel Prison. (013)

   

  • On Monday, October, 12, 2015, at around 5:00 a.m., an Israeli Armed Force arrested player Mohammed Khalil Saeed Sarhan, 19 years old. The Israeli force, (estimated at 20 soldiers by an eye witnesses) surrounded Mohammad’s house in Al-Thawri neighborhood in east Jerusalem and arrested him under the pretext of “throwing stones and damaging Jewish vehicles”The force took Mohammad for interrogation at Dahiyat Al-Barid Centre and informed him he will be summoned “should he carry out any acts against Israel” and that he “will be then arrested and fined an estimated value of (50000) NIS”. Mohammad was later released on the same day at 18h00. (036)

  • On Thursday, ‎ October 30, 2014 at 2:00 a.m, an Israeli Armed Force arrested player Bashir Muhammad Abdullah Mukhtar, a midfielder in Dora Al-Qari' FC, 23 years, old and holder of ID No # (853934685). Bashir was arrested from his home under the pretext of throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at Beit El Israeli settlement, near Ramallah. He is still imprisoned. (025)
  • On Tuesday, ‎ December 2, 2014, at 2:00 a.m., an Israeli occupation armed force arrested Naseem Muhammad Abdullah Mukhtar, player of Dora Al-Qari' FC, 21 years old, and holder of ID No # (85002473). Naseem was arrested from his house under the pretext of throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at the Beit El Israeli settlement near Ramallah. He is still imprisoned. (026)
  • On Thursday,‎ December 4, 2014 at 2:30 a.m, an Israeli Armed Force arrested Dora Al-Qari' FC’s player Muhammad Subhi Hamdan, 20 years old, and holder of ID No #(948356209). Muhammad was arrested from his house under the pretext of throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at the Israeli occupation troops. He is still imprisoned. (024)                                                                   
  • On Monday, May 11th 2015 An Israeli occupation armed force shot AL-Amari youth club fencer Rafet Abu Lebdah, 17 years old and holding ID No. (404113698). Eye witnesses confirmed that there were no clashes in the area when Rafat was shot in his left leg. The fencer himself swore that he was on his way from school to pick up his cousins when he was shot.  The injury left him unable to fence, or even walk, for a long time. 





  • On 21 May 2015, just as the solution (suggested by the Israeli goverment to Mr. Blatter) to give VIP treatment for Palestinian players was being put on the scale, the Israeli occupation tipped said scales by detaining player Sameh Maraaba for three hours on the border with Jordan. Maraaba was heading for Tunisia with the national team when this incident happened. Team members said that only by the team's refusal to leave without their player that Maraaba was finally allowed to travel. 

4 comments:

  1. An article on my blog about the struggle against the occupation of Palestine which mentions your blog as well - please share and distribute.

    http://lohemetzedek.blogspot.com/2015/05/the-fight-against-israeli-occupation-of.html

    ReplyDelete
  2. I entered my Comment.

    Your failure to publish it is recorded.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you had sent anything, it would have showed, just as your remark above. Send it again if you like

      Delete
    2. If you had sent anything, it would have showed, just as your remark above. Send it again if you like

      Delete