Fatah Scolds Arab Teens for Soccer Game with Jews

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- Fatah, the party of Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas, threatened Arab teenagers for participating in a soccer game with Jewish Israelis.

"Every now and then, some organizations who call themselves Palestinian come up with activities of normalization with the occupation," the Palestinian Authority's official Ma'an news agency quoted Fatah's Ramallah office. "These activities are held either in some European capitals or even during visits to the occupying state. The most recent activity was a football [soccer] match involving Palestinian children, both male and female."

The game, which took place in Holon just outside Tel Aviv, was sponsored by Mifalot, an organization seeking to promote peaceful coexistence through sports.

When photos of the match were posted on the Internet, Fatah responded with threats against the teenagers, saying the event reeked of "normalization" with Israel, Jerusalem Post Palestinian Affairs correspondent Khaled Toameh reported.

Fatah party leadership called the soccer game a "strange trend," accusing organizers of the match of "ignoring the fact that Israel has not accepted the principle of coexistence and is continuing to violate all international laws and the will of the international community for achieving peace in the Middle East."

Toameh writes that Fatah has torpedoed other such events, saying they're aimed at "normalizing" relations between the two "sides."

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