The Palestinian FA postpones the final of the cup after Israel denies the trip

RAMALLAH (Palestinian Territories): The end of the Palestine Cup was postponed after Israel denied travel permits to Gaza soccer players, the Palestinian Football Association he said on wednesday

The second stage of the final between Balata FC and Khadamat Rafah, winners of cups in the West Bank and Gaza, respectively, was to take place on Wednesday, PFA vice president Susan Shalabi told AFP.

The Gaza-based team, Khadamat Rafah, requested travel permits to the West Bank for 35 people, but Israel granted only four, three of them to club officials, Shalabi said.

The Israelis are very firm in their refusal, he said, and said they had cited security concerns that were not specified.

An official of Khadamat Rafah condemned the decision.

In the end, this is a sports team (...) we want to send a message of peace to the world, Hodaifa Lafi told AFP.

COGAT, the agency of the Israeli defense ministry responsible for Palestinian civil affairs, said it received a request on June 16 for 35 people to travel.

Although the request was inopportune and, therefore, made appropriate processing impossible in accordance with the clear guidelines, COGAT went beyond what was required of it and, through all the relevant parties, carefully reviewed the request, said a declaration .

The first leg, played on Sunday in Gaza, ended 1-1.

Israel and the West Bank and Gaza are separated, and Palestinians seeking to travel between the two must apply for Israeli permits.

The tournament faces problems every year for the granting of permits for players to leave the Hamas race Gaza Strip , that Israel has kept paralyzing blockade for more than a decade.

The cup was not held for 15 years, largely due to problems with Israeli permits, but resumed in 2015 after the world football body. FIFA intervened.

But the Palestinians have since made a decision to follow Israel's Israeli settler based on West Bank.

The way FIFA is dealing with the Israelis is encouraging them to act with impunity, Shalabi contended.

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