CHAPTER III: Israeli Transgressions against Palestinian Sports: after the 2nd phase of the FIFA Task Force Mechanism
The 2nd phase of the FIFA Task Force mechanism, an attempt by FIFA to ease the suffering of Palestinian football,was started after the FIFA 64th Congress in Sao Paulo, in June 2014. The FIFA congress had heard the report of FIFA President Sepp Blatter on the mechanism launched in the FIFA 63rd congress (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.
This report details the Israeli transgressions after that period:
- On Wednesday, the 9th of July 2014 Israeli bombardment killed 8 Palestinian young men in Khan Younis/Gaza. The victims were watching the semi-final world cup match -between Argentina And the Netherlands- among dozens of others, in a coffee shop named “Waqt Al-Marah” (Fun time), located on the beach, when the coffee shop was targeted by what eye witnesses said to be two Israeli rockets, while a nearby coffee shop was being shelled by Israeli navy boats.
These men were:
- Ibrahim Khalil Qannan, 24 years old.
- Mohammad Khalil Qannan, 26 years old.
- Hamdi Badee’Sawali, 33 years old.
- Ibrahim Badee’Sawali, 28 years old.
- Sulaiman Al-Astal, 55 years old.
- Ahmad Al-Astal
- Mousa Al-Astal
- Mohammad Al-Aqqad, 24 years old
A police officer named Wael Soboh, said the men had just had their Iftar meal, and were watching the game when the shelling started. “This is not a military zone”, he added. Other eye witnesses said that a fire broke out in the coffee shop after the shelling, and that 9 of the 9 died immediately. Nothing was left from the coffee shop, which was turned into a smoking pit, safe for heaps of debris, and the name sign of the place.
A survivor from the bombing, named Mohammad Aqqad said tha many people come here because the electricity is often down in Khan Younis, due to Israeli bombardment, and this place had a TV screen and a a power generator. “They were all football fans” he said.
- On July 9, 2014, player Bashar Ahmed, who played for Khadamat Jabalia FC, was killed in the Israeli bombardment of Jabalia. Bashar was a promising player known for his compassion and good manners.
- On July 13, 2014, Israeli air strikes killed the Technical Director and Board Member of Al-Tuffah FC, Ahmad Dalou.
It maybe worth mentioning that one Israeli airstrikes have killed 14 members of the Dalou family while they were hudled together in their home, most of whom were children.
- On 14 July, 2014, the Goal Keeper of Al-Tuffah FC, Ahmad Salah Abu Sidou, 17 years old, was killed during the Israeli artillery random bombardment of Al-Tuffah neigbourhood, in Gaza. Ahmad played in the 2nd team, and was a candidate to the senior team for the talent he displayed in local competitions.
- On Tuesday July 15, 2014, Al-Zaytun Club senior player, Mohammad Al-Zamli was killed during an Israeli air strike on the residential area in which he lives in east Rafah.
- On 15 July 2014, Mohammad Abu Bei’dh, the mid-field star of Al-Daraj FC, lost his left leg as a result of a shrapnel that hit him during the Israel bombardment of Al-Shajaiyeh area in Gaza. He was rushed to the hospital but the doctors there had to amputate his leg, since it was beyond repair. Mohammad has been a player for the last 12 years, and now, he will never play football again.
- On the 16th of July, 2014, Four young boys – members of the same family – playing football on the beach were killed by what witnesses confirm was gunfire from Israeli warships carrying out a blockade of Gaza. According to the “the independent”, and to the footage in the French video of the incident, the attack on the fishing port in Gaza City came at just after four o’clock on a sunny and clear afternoon with good visibility. The group of cousins, aged between nine and 11, were playing football, according to witnesses, when a shell from the direction of the sea hit, and they started to run. Three of them made it to a close by hotel, were some journalist staying there gave them first aid. The four others were not that lucky; one died at the scene, and the other three at the hospital.
The victims, who were the sons of a fisherman, were: Ismael Mohammed Bakr, 9 years old., Zakaria Ahed Bakr and Ahed Atif Bakr, both 10, and Mohammed Ramiz Bakr, 11 years old.
- On the 19th of July, 2014, Israeli Police Forces, who had broken into the vicinity of Al-Aqsa Mosque, beat up referee Saadi Abu Sneineh, causing him a head injury.
- On the 30th of July, 2014, at about 10h300, the former head coach of the Palestine National team Mr. A’aed Zaqqut was killed during an Israeli airstrikes that hit his apartment in Al-Nasr/Gaza. Several projectiles fell on the apartment and he one of which caused his instant death. Zaqqut has been a prominent mid-fielder in the 80s an 90s, and has worn the colors of the Palestine national team in many competitions. He had coached more than one first-class club senior teams in Gaza since he quit playing, among which are Al-Hilal club, Gaza Al-Riyadi, Shajaiyeh, and Khadamat Al-Shatii’
- On 21st of July, around 14h30, Israeli artillery, located east of the Governorate of Deir-Albalah/Gaza, shelled Shuhada Al-Aqsa hospital killing many civilians, among whom was Alaa Abu Dahrooj, a player in Deir Al-Balah club born 1998.
- On 26 July 2014, Israeli forces kidnapped Mohammad Abu Rida, who plays for Shabab Khan Younis FC, during the Israeli incursion in the area of Khaza’a. Mohammad and the other citizens, who were kidnapped as well, were tortured by their captors, before they were released.
- On the 30th of July, 2014, at about 10h30, the former head coach of the Palestine National team Mr. A’aed Zaqqut was killed during an Israeli airstrikes that hit his apartment in Al-Nasr/Gaza. Several projectiles fell on the apartment and he one of which caused his instant death. Zaqqut has been a prominent mid-fielder in the 80s an 90s, and has worn the colors of the Palestine national team in many competitions. He had coached more than one first-class club senior teams in Gaza since he quit playing, among which are Al-Hilal club, Gaza Al-Riyadi, Shajaiyeh, and Khadamat Al-Shatii’
- On 30 July 2014, The Palestine Football Association’s Vice President, Ibrahim Abu Salim, miraculously survived the Israeli artillery bombardment of his house. Israeli artillery had been shelling the area where he lives in Gaza, and he got injured in the head and back by shrapnel.
- On 30 July 2014, former referee Bahaa Al-Gharib and his 16 years old daughter , Ola, were killed in an Israeli airstrike on Rafah. Bahaa had been a referee in the 70s and 80s, and has been working as director of Hebrew news in the Palestine Broadcasting Corporation.
- On 1 August 2014, Israeli soldiers shot player Oda’i Nafez Jaber, 19 years old, in the village of Safa, west of Ramallah. Odai was shot by 3 bullets which killed him instantly. Oda’i played for Beit Ur, and Kharbatha FCs, and was about to sign a contract with a professional club had the bullets of the Israeli soldiers not found him.
- On the 8th of August, 2014, player Mahmoud Farahat, player in Tal Al-Sultan club in Rafah/Gaza was killed during the Israeli bombardment of Rafah.
- On the 9th of August, 2014, Israeli airstrikes destroyed the house of Abdullah Salameh, a key player in the Palestinian Beach Soccer National Team.
- On 7 August 2014, Israeli airstrikes caused severe damage in the Palestine Football Association HQ in Beit Lahia/Gaza. This was not the first time the building, a FIFA Goal Project, got shelled.
- On 8 August 2014, Israeli soldiers shot Al-Amaari club former player, Mohammad Al-Qatri, 19 years old, as he was protesting the Israeli atrocities in Gaza, from close range. The soldiers prevented Palestinian Ambulances from reaching him, leaving him bleeding where he was shot, which caused his death. Mohammad has been working in the Joseph Blatter Academy since he quit playing. He was admired and loved by everyone who worked with him.
|Mohammad Al-Qatri gets a firm handshake from Sepp Blatter|
|Mohammad Al-Qatri, 19 - Killed by Israeli soldiers near the colony of Bsagot|
|Former Women's National Team player, Hamama Jorban says her goodbyes to Mohammad|
- On 10 August 2014, an Israeli airstrike destroyed Al-Ribat FC HQ, located in Al-Nuseirat refugee camp, in Gaza.
- On 12 Friday 2014, FIFA International referee Farouq Assi was detained for more than 4 hours by the Israeli army, as he was on his way to officiate in an official league match. Referee Assi was driving his private car, a white VolksWagen Caddy, with referees Muath Samahah (from Ein Seinya), Mohammad Nasser (From Saffa), and Ali Alawi (from Deir jreer) heading to Jericho to officiate in a semi-professional league match between Hilal Areeha FC and Beit Ummar FC, which was scheduled at 18h00 on the same day. Assi and his fellow referees arrived at the Silwad checkpoint early at around 15h30. Their vehicle was the first in line when the stone throwing at the soldiers started. All vehicles were denied crossing the checkpoint and were detained there until 17h00. When Assi and his friends tried to move the car out of the line of fire and stones, turning the car on the location, the soldiers got them out of the car, confiscated the keys, and manhandled Assi, kicked him around, and put him in a corner, blindfolded, with his hands tied behind his back.
- On November 2014, a reportedly joint force of Israeli Police and intelligence broke into Burj Al-Luqluq Social Center, located in the Old City of Jerusalem, where they conducted a two-hour search that wrought havoc all over the place.According to Mr. Muntasir Idkaidik, the executive manager of the Centre, the Israeli armed force also broke into the kindergarten, where 40 children were having a normal school day, intimidating the children, who showed signs of sock and anxiety.
- On 24 November 2014, at 9h20 a.m., an Israeli army force of three military jeeps broke into the Head Quarters of the Palestine Football Association. The force disembarked from the 3 vehicles and started to conduct a search in the first floor of the building, while preventing the employees, who were coming for their work, from entering the premises. The soldiers interrogated the employees of the 1st floor, asking a few of them when they arrive and depart from work. After 35-40 minutes inside the building, the force withdrew from the premises, but remained in the vicinity close by. When asked by the Director of the International department of the PFA why the force broke into a football facility that is under FIFA, their proclaimed officer denied breaking into the place at all. The officer said they were looking for someone and did not find him. The PFA official asked why they were still in the vicinity, then. The officer then asked the press not to take any footage, and the force withdrew from the vicinity shortly after that.