JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Israeli police forces shut down a Palestinian soccer tournament in the Beit Safafa neighborhood, in the central occupied West Bank district of Jerusalem, reportedly for being held under the auspices of the Palestinian Authority (PA).
Local sources confirmed that Israeli police forces raided Beit Safafa’s soccer field and hung a notice issued by the Israeli Public Security Minister, Gilad Erdan, banning the soccer tournament from taking place at any field for allegedly 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 said his chairman Khaled Sabbah affirming that the forum is apolitical and is not affiliated with any Palestinian political actor.
Sources also pointed out that 12 teams with players, aged between 12 and 13 years old, from the Jerusalem district were scheduled to play in the canceled tournament.
Illegal Israeli settlements, along with the Israeli separation wall, have effectively cut off Beit Safafa from the West Bank.
The neighborhood suffers from poor infrastructure, in addition, its residents are constantly subjected to harassment and detentions by Israeli forces.