Iraq’s national football team is set to travel on Thursday on its first-ever visit to the Israeli-occupied West Bank where it will face off against the Palestinian national squad.
Iraq fought in wars against Israel in 1948, 1967 and 1973 and has still technically yet to make peace with the Jewish state.
Most teams in Arab countries, many of which do not recognise Israel, refuse to visit the Palestinian territories because Israel controls the West Bank’s borders and blockades the Gaza Strip.
Palestinian leaders have, however, called on Arab countries to send sporting and cultural delegations for years, to help ease their isolation.
The friendly match with Iraq will be held Saturday in Ramallah, the West Bank’s administrative.