IOC president says he'll help Palestinian athletes

October 5, 2010 15:29

International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge has expressed concern over obstacles facing Palestinian athletes.

Rogge said during a visit to the West Bank on Tuesday that athletes should be granted free movement regardless of politics.Palestinian officials say Israel routinely hinders the movement of Palestinian athletes, particularly those from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. Israel grants special permits to Gaza athletes, but these are sometimes not renewed while others are restricted because of security reasons.

Rogge is meeting with Palestinian leaders and watching a friendly football match in the West Bank before going to Israel on Wednesday. He said he would raise the movement issue in his meetings with Israeli officials.

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