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Head of Palestinian Football Association writes letter to FIFA head asking him not to attend Bahrain economic workshop

Headline: "Rajoub demands that Infantino not participate in the Bahrain conference"

"Chairman of the Palestinian Football Association [and Fatah Central Committee Secretary] Jibril Rajoub sent a letter to FIFA President Gianni Infantino following the latter's decision to participate in the workshop in Bahrain (refers to US-led conference in June 2019 focusing on economic aspects of US President Donald Trump's Middle East peace plan –Ed.). The letter said: 'We have heard the news that you will participate in the workshop expected to take place in Manama, Bahrain, called Peace to Prosperity. In this workshop you will give a speech titled How Sport and Entertainment Will Serve as Incentives for Economic Development in the West Bank and Gaza Strip'

Rajoub continued: 'To be honest with you, we and millions of Palestinian and non-Palestinian football fans received the news in astonishment. They wondered critically how the president of the top football authority in the world, who demands in every forum to separate sports and politics, could participate in a political workshop whose declared goal is to determine the fate of the Palestinian people in its absence, as if it does not exist (sic., the conference was on Palestinian economic development, and the Palestinians were invited but refused to attend).'

Rajoub added in his letter: 'I hope that you will reexamine your decision to participate. I call your attention to the fact that the [PA] government of Palestine and the Palestinian people, which is under occupation, are boycotting this workshop whose organizers claim that they can determine the fate of the Palestinian people in its absence, as if this people does not exist!'

Rajoub concluded the letter by saying: 'I am sure that your decision to participate in this workshop stemmed from an intention to help establish peace, but from where I stand, I emphasize to you that millions see the matters in a different way; peace and prosperity can only be achieved in Palestine in one way – putting an end to the Israeli occupation and its theft of our natural resources, and working together with the rest of the world to achieve the peace and stability of which we dream.'"

Jibril Rajoub also holds the following positions: Head of the PLO Supreme Council for Sport and Youth Affairs, Chairman of the Palestine Olympic Committee, and Chairman of the Palestinian Scout Association (PSA).

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