Middle East

Palestinians file FIFA complaint over Israeli restrictions

The head of the Palestinian soccer federation has submitted a complaint to the international soccer governing body, FIFA, after Israel prevented seven soccer players and staff from traveling from the Gaza Strip to the West Bank.

Jibril Rajoub says the Shabab Khan Younis players were attempting to attend the final Palestine Cup match in Hebron. The game, scheduled for Saturday, was postponed.

Israel's Shin Bet security service said the team members were barred due to "severe negative security background." Israel has maintained a blockade on Gaza since the militant Islamic group Hamas took over in 2007.

In 2015, Rajoub asked FIFA to suspend the Israeli soccer association because of restrictions on Palestinian players.

Israel has asked FIFA to condemn Rajoub's hailing of Palestinians who attack Israelis as courageous heroes.