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Chairman of Palestinian Football Association: Due to PA financial crisis, football league games might be cancelled in the coming year

Headline: “Rajoub: The football league is in danger due to the financial crisis”

“Chairman of the [Palestinian] Football Association [and Fatah Central Committee Secretary] Jibril Rajoub warned yesterday [Aug. 3, 2019] that the [football] league [games] are in danger of being cancelled this year due to the financial crisis, as long as the PA and the private sector do not step up to rescue it.

Rajoub led a meeting – which was held in the association’s headquarters in Al-Ram in the presence of the president of the professional clubs – in order to discuss the financial crisis from which the clubs at all levels are suffering. This was after the league’s sponsor, the Ooredoo company, withdrew and after the [PA] government stopped funding these clubs due to the liquidity crisis it is in as a result of the tax money crisis (i.e., referring to Israel’s Anti “Pay-for-Slay” Law to deduct terror salaries; see note below –Ed.).

Rajoub said: ‘I have briefed [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas on the situation. If the clubs are not provided this year with 50% of what there was last year, there will be no league [games]. The president said that it is very important to him to provide the minimum necessary for the league [games] to continue being held this year.’ Rajoub announced that the association’s council will convene a meeting outside the regularly scheduled ones by the end of August in order ‘to decide whether the league’s [games] will continue to be held or be stopped.’”

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

Israel's Anti "Pay-for-Slay" Law - Israeli law stating that the PA payments to terrorists and the families of dead terrorists is a financial incentive to terror. The law instructs the state to deduct and freeze the amount of money the PA pays in salaries to imprisoned terrorists and families of "Martyrs" from the tax money Israel collects for the PA. Should the PA stop these payments for a full year, the Israeli government would have the option of giving all or part of the frozen money to the PA.  The law was enacted by the Israeli Parliament on July 2, 2018, and its first implementation was approved by Israel's Security Cabinet on Feb. 17, 2019, when it decided to withhold 502,697,000 Israeli shekels (approximately $138 million) from the PA. In response, the PA announced it would not accept any of the tax money collected by Israel unless it also included the frozen amount.  During the initial parliamentary vote in 2018, the law's sponsor Avi Dichter said: “The Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee received much help in its deliberations... from Palestinian Media Watch who provided us with authentic data that enabled productive and professional deliberations, nuances that are very difficult to achieve without precise data.” [Israeli Parliament website, July 2, 2018]

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