by: James M. Dorsey
Israeli security forces have arrested the goalkeeper of the Palestinian Olympic soccer team on charges of involvement in a shoot-out with Israeli troops, according to the Israeli military.
Palestinian soccer officials said the arrest of 23 year-old Omar Abu Rois, an alleged member of Hamas, the Islamist movement that controls the Gaza Strip, was followed the next day by the detention of Ahmad Khalil Ali Abu El-Asal a player for the Aqabat Jaber Palestinian refugee camp soccer team.
The military said Mr. Abu Rois was one of 13 people arrested following an attack on Israeli troops in January in the Al Amari Palestinian refugee camp near the West Bank town of Ramallah. The military charged that the group had fired Kalashnikovs that had been provided by the head of security for the local branch of the Red Crescent, Palestine’s equivalent of the Red Cross. The security chief, Monastery Abbas, was among those detained. Mr. Abu Rois, according to the military, is a Red Crescent employee.
The military said the shooting occurred on January 20. It said no one was hurt in the incident but that an Israeli vehicle had been damaged. It said that interrogation of the detainees had revealed that Mr. Abu Rois had prepared the weapons used in the attack a day after the incident for return to a monastery where they had originally been stashed. It said the group had planned further attacks on several Israeli settlements on the occupied West Bank.