So the first three weeks of the West Bank Premier League have ended and there have been surprises aplenty. Newly promoted Shabab Balata of Nablus are top of the table after two wins and one draw against Shabab Al-Khaleel, Merkaz Tulkarem, and Al-Dhahrieh respectively. While favorites Wadi Al-Nes have stumbled by losing two of their first three matches after starting the season off by capturing the Yasser Arafat Cup and the Palestinian Supercup. And in good news for the most successful club in the league's history- Mohammed Shbair was finally allowed entry into the West Bank and will join up with Shabab Al-Khaleel after the break.
Unfortunately for many of the players that have started off the season strong, Mousa Bezaz was forced to submit his squad to the AFC before the first match day. As a result, some of the players that have impressed have missed out. While another section of players were ignored because Bezaz elected to have them train with Olympic squad in preparation for the Asian Games in November and the Olympic Qualifiers early next year.
Bezaz has also faced an uphill battle calling up foreign-based players for the tournament because the games are not on FIFA sanctioned matchdays. Bezaz wanted to call up Imad Zatara (M, Syrianska), Mohammed Shatrit (M, JA Drancy), Mohammed Samara (M, Arab Contractors), and Roberto Bishara (D, Palestino). These absences will leave a familiar void at left-back and in the middle of the pitch. Players who will be joining the squad are: Ramzi Saleh (GK, Al-Merreikh), Abdelatif Bahdari (D, Wehdat), Majed Abusidu (Tadamon, Kuwait), Fahed Attal (F, Wehdat), and Ahmed Keshkesh (F, Wehdat).
The team will start their preparations on September 13th in Al-Ram and will travel to Jordan on the 22nd before facing Yemen on the 27th. The rest of the squad 26 man squad looks like this:
Thaqafi Tulkarem: Fahed Al-Fakhuri (GK)
Jabal Al-Mokaber: Samer Hijazi (DF), Hatem Karim (DF), Husam Wadi (DF), Shadi Alan (MW), Jamal Alan (FW), Ismail Amour (MF).
Al-Am'ary: Ahmed Harbi (DF), Khaled Mahdi (DF), Ma'ly Kaware' (MF), Suleiman Obeid (MF)
Wadi Al-Nes: Khader Yousef (MF), Ashraf Nu'man (MF/FW)
Hilal Al-Quds: Abdullah Saidawi (GK), Haitham Dheeb (DF), Murad Said (FW), Husam Abu Saleh (MF), Hisham Al-Salihi (MF)
Al-Bireh: Mohammed Jamal (FW)
Shabab Al-Khaleel: Mohammed Shbair (GK), Ayman Al-Hendi (MF)
During the most recent international break, Yemen, who are in Palestine's WAFF group upset Syria in a friendly, 2-1. The other opponent in Group C, Iraq haven't played a competitive match in 10 months due to a FIFA ban was imposed due to government interference in the FA's affairs.