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Israeli soccer player on UK team barred from entering Dubai

(JTA) — An Israeli soccer player for a British team is being forced to skip a team visit to Dubai because of the United Arab Emirates’ policy on visits by Israelis.

The 25-year-old striker, Itay Schechter, who plays for Swansea City, was prevented from attending the six-day group training session in the Persian Gulf city, the Jewish Chronicle reported Wednesday.

The United Arab Emirates does not have diplomatic ties with Israel, and Israeli passport holders can be arrested and deported upon entering if they lack a special visa. Dubai is one of the UAE’s severn emirates, or city-states.

Hamas and Dubai have accused Israel of assassinating Hamas commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in a hotel in Dubai in January 2010 in a plot involving a dozen assassins using forged passports from Britain, Ireland, Germany and France, among other countries.

Schechter, who once was a victim of anti-Semitic abuse when he was given a Nazi salute during a training session, has traveled to Israel to train with his former Hapoel Tel Aviv soccer club ahead of a Premier League match this Sunday, the Chronicle reported.

In 2009, the Dubai Tennis Championships was levied a record fine over its country’s refusal to award a visa to Israeli tennis player Shahar Pe’er. She received a visa and appeared in the 2010 tournament in Dubai.

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