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The calls for Israel to be removed from the global footballing body Fifa have grown louder after two Palestinian footballers were reportedly shot in the feet at an Israeli checkpoint, preventing them from ever playing football again.
The two teenagers, Jawhar Nasser Jawhar, 19, and Adam Abd al-Raouf Halabiya, 17, were walking home from a training session in the Faisal al-Husseini Stadium in al-Ram in the central West Bank when Israeli forces allegedly opened fire without warning, according to Al Jazeera.
Israeli security forces said that the two footballers were attempting to throw explosive devices at police officers.
"A group of individuals was seen just seconds before throwing bombs at security forces. The policemen initiated the protocol for opening fire in order to neutralise the threat," said the Israeli border police spokesman.
Jawhar received 10 gunshots to his feet, seven in his left foot and three in his right, while Halabiya received one shot to each foot, according to medical reports.
Police dogs were then released on the pair and Israeli soldiers beat them before being taken to Ramallah governmental hospital and then transferred to King Hussein Medical Center in Amman. It will take months to assess whether the pair can ever walk again.
Palestinian Football Association chair Jibril Rajoub said the group "will demand the expulsion of Israel from Fifa" after the incident.
"Israeli brutality against them [the teenagers] emphasises the occupation's insistence on destroying Palestinian sport," he continued.
Sports writer Dave Zirin commented on the effect that Israeli occupation has upon Palestinian sport.
"Death, injury or imprisonment has been a reality for several members of the Palestinian national team over the last five years.
"Just imagine if members of Spain's top-flight World Cup team had been jailed, shot or killed by another country and imagine the international media outrage that would ensure."
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently said that he was "prepared to make an historic peace with our Palestinian neighbours" if Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas recognised the Jewish state.
An online petition supporting the removal of Israel from Fifa after the shooting of the Palestinian teenagers has gained approximately 4,000 signatures.