Palestine Unbound: Palestine Cup

Palestine Square | ميدان فلسـطيـن

For the first time in fifteen years, a Gaza soccer team was permitted to host its West Bank opponent in the final round of the Palestine Cup. Hebron’s Ahli al-Khalil faced off against Gaza’s Ittihad Shuja‘iya on 6 August. Less than three months after Israel’s vow at the FIFA Congress to ease restrictions on the movement of Palestinian players between the West Bank and Gaza (see above), Palestinian officials reported that Israel blocked the team’s entry on 3 August, their scheduled arrival date. The players were permitted to enter Gaza the next day, however, after a PFA complaint led to FIFA pressing Israel on the issue. Around seven thousand fans filled Yarmouk Stadium for the historic match, which ended in a goalless stalemate.

Shuja‘iya then traveled to Hebron to face Ahli in the final game of the Palestine Cup. While the match was originally scheduled to be played the same week as the Gaza match, it…

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