Kicking footballs is a threat to the national security of Israel.
A friendly game between an Arab soccer team and a Palestinian team was supposed to inaugurate the new stadium being built in the eastern part of Al-Bireh, near Ramallah, at the end of the year. “Supposed to” because the Civil Administration, an arm of the Defense Ministry, has ordered that the work be halted and is threatening demolition.
FIFA, the international soccer federation, financed the stadium as part of a larger program to promote Palestinian soccer. The stadium covers 11 dunams (2.75 acres) and will hold 8,000 seats. An Israeli contractor, in partnership with a Dutch company and a Palestinian subcontractor, constructed the field.
n October 2008, when the field was ready, FIFA president Joseph Blatter and Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad laid the cornerstone for the stadium. The governments of France and Germany are paying for the construction of stands. The outer wall, the lighting and the scoreboard are being financed by the Al-Bireh municipality, which owns the land and within whose jurisdiction the stadium is located.