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Fans attending the Raja Casablanca vs. Hilal Al-Quds game will not have their passports stamped by Israel

On Thursday, Raja Casablanca will play against Palestinian football team Hilal Al-Quds in Faisal Al-Husseini, a stadium in the city of Al Quds. While many see the trip Raja fans will make to Jerusalem as a way of normalizing with the Israeli entity, the Palestinian team told Yabiladi that Moroccan football lovers would not get their passports stamped by the Zionist authorities.

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Raja Athletic Club is expected to play against Palestinian team Hilal Al-Quds, Thursday, in Jerusalem. Days before the football match, controversy has been stirred over the visit of Raja fans, who would travel to Palestine to attend the game. The step was seen as form of normalization with the Israeli entity.

Reacting to the situation, Raja Casablanca fans posted a statement on their Facebook page, slamming those who accused them of normalization.

Speaking, Monday, to Yabiladi, the spokesperson for the Al Quds-based team, Tamer Obeidat, said that the «Israeli occupation issues small cards for visitors, allowing them to visit the city without having their passports stamped».

«We have to distinguish between the West Bank and Israel. The Raja Casablanca team obtained entry permits from the West Bank, which is a Palestinian area, where there is Palestinian security services, while the Israeli occupation is deployed near the borders», he added.

A special song for Moroccan fans

Obeidat explained that «when visitors try to enter Jerusalem, which is completely controlled by Israel, through the West Bank, they have to go through complicated procedures and checkpoints, which is not the case for the team».

He stressed that the anti-normalization activists in Morocco can rest assured because «the Moroccan team will play on the Palestinian territory, in Al Quds, the capital of Palestine in accordance with international laws». «Raja will play with a Palestinian team that has an audience and a managing team, it will not play in Tel Aviv and players and fans’ passports will not be stamped by Israel», he argued.

To the spokesperson, some anti-normalization organizations «do not understand the Palestinian reality (…) the visit would be to Palestine and the game will be played in a Palestinian field and before a Palestinian audience, and Israel has nothing to do with the matter».

He added that normalization «is to establish relations with the Israeli occupation, such as playing with an Israeli club, or attending a conference alongside Israelis».

He stressed that Palestinians welcome the visit and consider it «necessary». «We desperately need to visit our Arab brothers in order to strengthen our ties, and to feel that there is an Arab body standing with us and supporting us», he added.

As for Thursday’s match, the Hilal Al Quds representative said that «preparations are underway and a special committee has been formed for this match by the club and its fans».  

He declared that the fans of the Al-Quds team will raise a banner during the game, as was the case in Morocco, and explained that there will be a large public presence. «There are also preparations regarding the raising of slogans as well as Palestinian and Moroccan flags, as there will be a special song for Morocco and the Moroccan people».

The first leg, which took place at the Mohammed V Stadium in Casablanca, ended with the victory of the Moroccan team 1-0.

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