Ashgabat 2017: Palestinian Olympic President wants free movement for athletes

Thursday, September 21, 2017

My priority is to have free movement for the Palestinian athletes and players, because it is the only way to build players who can achieve medals and also promote ethics and values,” said the President of Palestinian Olympic Committee at the ongoing 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.

Palestine is one of the nations participating in the Games, but President Jibril Rajoub said their participation is hindered by the absence of some Palestinian athletes who could not make it to the Asian Games, because ‘the Israelis prevented them from leaving Gaza’. “But despite that it is good that Palestine is represented.”

“Sport is a tool and good platform to expose our cause and I think the international community does like to see the Palestinian people expose their cause, through ethics and values of all the games rather than through the violence of machine guns. I am trying to develop the game in Palestine and to promote values and ethics of sport among the young generation of Palestine.”

He looked unhappy with the Israeli occupation, whom he said, are restricting movement inside Palestine, particularly for players and athletes to participate even in official competition.

“It also restricts players from outside coming into Palestine, but despite all that we are fighting everywhere for the international community to prevail on the Israelis to abide by the Olympic Charter.”

Author: Alieu Ceesay in Ashgabat,Turkmenistan