JERUSALEM, Friday, April 19, 2019 (WAFA) – Israeli police Friday morning shut down a Palestinian soccer tournament in Beit Safafa, southwest of Jerusalem, purportedly for being held under the auspices of the Palestinian Authority.
WAFA correspondent reported that Israeli police raided Beit Safafa playground and posted a notice issued by Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan banning the soccer tournament from being held at any playground purportedly for being held “under the auspices of the Palestinian Authority to mark the Palestinian Prisoner’s Day”.
The soccer tournament was organized by the Multaqa Ahali al-Quds (the Jerusalemites Forum) and the Jerusalem Clubs Association.
The Jerusalemites Forum reported his chairman Khaled Sabbah affirming that the forum is apolitical and is not affiliated with any Palestinian political actor.
Head of the Forum’s Sports Commission Fadi Ewisat pointed out that 12 teams with players aged between 12 and 13 years from Jerusalem district were scheduled to play in the canceled tournament.
Half of Beit Safafa fell under Israel’s Jerusalem municipality when the municipality’s borders were expanded following the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem, in June 1967 and the 1980 Jerusalem Law, which declares the city, including its expanded borders, as Israel’s “undivided, eternal capital”.
The town is plagued by poor infrastructure, and residents are constantly subject to harassment and arbitrary arrests by Israeli police.