Target: Sepp Blatter, President of FIFA.
Goal: Obtain greater protection for athletes everywhere
Recently, two soccer players on the Palestinian international team were attacked on their way home from a training session. Jawhar Nasser Jawhar, 19, and Adam Abd al-Raouf Halabiya, 17, were fired upon at a checkpoint in the West Bank. After being shot in the feet multiple times, the two were set upon by attack dogs and then beaten by police. The authorities maintain that the two men were going to throw a bomb at soldiers at the checkpoint, but neither were carrying explosives or weapons of any kind. The wounds that they sustained were treated, and the two players were told there that they would not play soccer again; the damage to their feet was much too severe. The International Olympic Committee and the Federation Internationale de Football (FIFA) must open an impartial investigation into this incident, in accordance with international law, and see what measures might be taken to ensure the safety of all athletes.
Death, injury or imprisonment have been a harsh reality for Palestinian athletes, and are far from the purpose of sport. The recent shooting of these players shows just how difficult it is for Palestinian athletes to live, train and compete. The head of FIFA, Sepp Blatter, has recognized the problems faced by Palestinian soccer players. Mr. Blatter has sought to mediate this issue by bringing together members of the Israeli and Palestinian authorities to try and come to an agreement regarding relaxing checkpoint procedures for Palestinian athletes. These checkpoint policies make it difficult for athletes to leave Palestine and for their trainers, managers and coaches to enter the West Bank and Gaza.
The shooting of these players has made the situation much more difficult for FIFA and the IOC. The difficulties faced by Palestinian athletes have raised questions about Israel’s future participation in international sporting competitions. Either way, there must be a greater effort on the part of the international sporting community to ensure the safety of all athletes. Sign this petition to call for greater oversight of Palestinian sport by the international community.
Dear Sepp Blatter,
The recent shooting of two Palestinian football players has caused great distress in Gaza and the West Bank, as well as around the world. This incident shows that your organization, along with other international sporting bodies, must do all that you can to protect the rights of athletes everywhere.
By showing your concern for these men and taking action against those responsible, you may indicate to the rest of the world that incidents such as this are intolerable. The protection of the rights of athletes everywhere will ensure for a more competitive sport environment as well as ensure their livelihoods. I urge you to take all the action you can to make sport accessible to everyone.
[Your Name Here]
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