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Asian Soccer Tournament Is Field Of Dreams For Palestine's Players - Yahoo News

We have a love, we have a heart, we are not a hateful people, says Husam al-Husseini of the PFAs international affairs department. SHOWING UP IS HALF THE BATTLE But even with supportfrom FIFA, its complicatedto field a national team when you dont control customs, borders, or an airport. Every time Palestinian players travel abroad to a match, their exit and reentry is dependent on Israeli approval.Of the 23-man squad traveling to Australia, all but six live in the Palestinian territories. In 2007, the Palestinian team was forced to forfeit a World Cup qualifier match when Israel Shin Ohtake prevented their travel to Singapore. Abu Jazar has only been back tohis city of Khan Younis in Gaza three times since 2009 for fear of not being able to return to his West Bank club,which pays a salary thatallows him to support his large family back home. Gaza was once teeming with talented players like Abu Jazar.Then camethe 2007 Hamas takeover that cut off the territory from the West Bank, which is ruled by Fatah , the dominant Palestinian party, and led to harsher Israeli restrictions on Gaza. "Before the [Hamas-Fatah rift], sport in Gaza was high and quality was fantastic," says Abu Jazar.
Full story: http://news.yahoo.com/asian-soccer-tournament-field-dreams-palestines-players-120004262.html

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