Rival Palestinian clubs set for historic football match

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during the 2015 Asian Cup match between Japan and Palestine at Hunter Stadium on January 12, 2015 in Newcastle, Australia.

Palestinian football fans are gearing up for an historic clash with the West Bank-based Al Ahli and Gaza’s Shejaya set to play each other for the first time in 15 years.

Tuesday’s game in Yarmuk in the war-ravaged Gaza Strip is being seen as a symbol of Palestinian unity after last year’s devastating conflict with Israel and months of political backbiting.

“We hope that the match will be a way to embody the unity of our people, especially since our politicians are so divided,” said Ahli President Kifah Al Sherif.

“If it goes ahead it will be proof that sport can achieve advances that politics cannot.”

There is some doubt over whether the game will even take place, given that Ahli, champions in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, have yet to receive permission to travel to Gaza.

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