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History of sport in Palestine

  (Redirected from Sport in Palestine)

Palestine first competed at the Summer Olympics in 1996.[1] The Palestinian National Authority is represented on the International Olympic Committee by the Palestine Olympic Committee, which has sent teams to compete at each Summer Olympics since 1996 under the IOC country code PLE.[2] Palestine has been recognized as a member of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) since 1986, and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) since 1995.[3][4] The Palestinian Olympic committee did not work with the Israeli Olympic committee to train for the 2012 Olympic games,[5] and participation in the 2013 Mediterranean Games.[6]

Association football has been described as the national sport of Palestine.[7] There is a West Bank Premier League, and Gaza Strip League. The Palestine national football team played Afghanistan in the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. They visited Australia for the 2015 AFC Asian Cup. Some girls' schools have incorporated football into their curricula.[8] Prior to the creation of Israel, dozens of Palestinian sport clubs were active, however after the 1948 Arab War of Aggression that occurred the following year brought most of these to a closure.[9] The infrastructure of some more contemporary Palestinian sport associations have also been demolished by the Israeli government.[10]

The Beit Jala Lions is a West Bank Rugby Union team.

Ramallah hosts some of the best gyms in Palestine.[11] The separation wall and numerous checkpoints has caused difficulty in movement for Palestinian athletes, however Palestinian athletes were still able to reach East Jerusalem sport centers as of 2009.[12]

The Turmus Aya Equestrian Club, established in 2007, is a riding club dedicated to the mission of providing affordable access to horses for Palestinians. Ashraf Rabi, the founder, maintains that "this is part of the development of Palestine. Horses are a big part of our Arab culture and we must embrace it." [13]

The Arab Palestine Sports Federation was established in 1931 and re-established in 1944. The first wave of the federation was from 1931 to 1937, then again from 1944 to 1948. There were many different clubs and gyms from all over Palestine that were considered to be a part of the Federation. The main games that the Arab Palestine Sports Federation supported were football and weightlifting.[14]

In 1948 when the federation failed, sport was not widely practiced throughout the region. Failure is credited to lack of resources and athletes in the area. After the failure of the federation, boxing became a phenomenon in Palestine. Boxing was brought to the region by British soldiers. While the soldiers were invading tournaments were held around the area.[15]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Olympic Profile: Atlanta 1996;For Palestinian Runner, Carrying Flag Is Glory Enough". The New York Times. 4 April 1996.
  2. ^ "Athlete who carries Palestinians' first Olympic hopes to Atlanta". The Independent. July 11, 1996. Retrieved 2009-11-09.
  3. ^ Randy Harvey (September 30, 1986). "Israel Denounces Admission of PLO to Asian Olympic Panel". Los Angeles Times. (Israel is a member of the European Olympic Committee.)
  4. ^ "Palestine Olympic Committee". Official Website of the Olympic Movement. Retrieved 2009-07-28.
  5. ^ "Israel, Palestine hold 'Sports for Peace' talks". 20 April 2011.
  6. ^ "Olympics Features: Rome hosts Israel and Palestine to promote peace through sport".
  7. ^ From Palestine to America: A Memoir – Page 12, Taher Dajani – 2008
  8. ^ Muslim Women and Sport – Page 183, Tansin Benn, Gertrud Pfister, Haifaa Jawad – 2010
  9. ^ A Companion to Sport – Page 260, Ben Carrington – 2013
  10. ^ Reading and Writing the Mediterranean – Page 105, Norma Bouchard, Massimo Lollini – 2006
  11. ^ Joe Weider, Ben Weider – 2006, Brothers of Iron – Page 279
  12. ^ Jerusalem Wall: a decade of division and urban incarceration
  13. ^ "Equestrian club caters to all".
  14. ^ Amara, M. (2011-11-24). Sport, Politics and Society in the Arab World. Springer. ISBN 978-0-230-35950-5.
  15. ^