Page last updated at 22:26 GMT, Friday, 20 November 2009

Israel halts football stadium construction in West Bank

Palestinian football supporters at a match
Palestinians are keen football players and supporters

Israel has ordered construction work on an internationally financed football stadium being built for Palestinians in the occupied West Bank to be halted.

Palestinian municipal authorities in al-Bireh, near Ramallah, have been told they lack the correct permit to build.

This is because Israel has designated some of the plot for the planned stadium as under its exclusive control.

If Palestinian officials do not comply with the order, Israel could demolish the arena.

The stadium's development has been financed by the world football's governing body, Fifa, as well as France, Germany and Gulf states.

Palestinians have said that Israel's issuing of the stop-work order is unreasonable and politically motivated.

Israeli officials have said they are working with their Palestinian counterparts to resolve the issue.

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