One of the main factors in achieving reasonable growth and success in Palestinian sports was the unity of the Palestinian people (beside its democratic foundations). Unfortunately, this success that Palestine achieved internally and internationally has been held back by the Fatah-Hamas division. Today, one of the main obstacles in front of the current sports movement is in its subjection to partisanship. This division in sports came to help Israel who was dreaming to 'divide and conquer '
No doubt, this conflict has affected sports in the West Bank and Gaza and can be considered an obstacle to the growth of sports in Palestine. Hamas members have commented that there were no elections in Gaza because of the political conflict, which has resulted in a power vacuum. Whatever achievements the team in the West Bank will make, Hamas does not recognize, because no elections had been held in Gaza. Fatah had also been accused of dominating Palestine Football Association (PFA) and the majority of athletic clubs; that the Palestinian Authority (PA) does not issue licenses to Hamas clubs in both the West Bank and Gaza. Fatah has responded to these accusations by saying that the PA does not deal with politics; that there is no place for political polarization in sports.
"We as sports people want to remove sport from politics but politicians on both sides, Hamas and Fatah, play on this, they try to make politics come into sport," explained Ibrahim Abu Saleem, vice president of the Palestinian Football Association [PFA], and the man in charge of the game in Gaza." The main problem lies with Hamas. When Hamas hands back the clubs to their legal board of directors, sport will be running again in Gaza as in the West Bank."
As we have established, since the 1920s, sports has played a big role in bringing youth together in villages and cities in Palestine. Many agree that there will be no real athletic progress as long as Palestinians are divided. Unfortunately, sports could not unite Palestinians during the crises, maybe because the size of the crises itself has been very huge. Also, at the same time, sport was not based on solid meaningful foundations that could help the unity of Palestinians. Sport is a sword with two edges. Unfortunately, as history witnesses, ignoring the great potential of this magnificent tool could lead to many using its other edge – the harmful and destructive one. Forgetting that after the Nakba (e.i. Catastrophe) when Palestinians had no voice, sports was their pride. Even more ignoring how their parents and grandparents struggled to build the Palestinian sports movement.
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