In a shocking transfer, national team and Hilal Al-Quds left back Abdallah Jaber has signed a contract with Hapoel Hadera of the Israeli Premier League.
The mid-season move was facilitated by Hilal Al-Quds neglecting to pay its players for the past five months. FIFA recently mandated that any player who goes unpaid of two months can void his contract if the club fails to pay wages over a two month period.
Oday Dabbagh recently used this mechanism to void his contract with Al-Samliya and move to Kuwaiti rivals Al-Qadsia last year.
The move comes with serious repercussions for the Palestinian National Team as Abdallah Jaber was due to take over as captain from Abdelatif Bahdari. When competitive play reconvenes, Noureddine Ould Ali will have to find a way to replace two stalwarts who have helped Palestine become one of the toughest defenses to break down in all of Asia.
Abdallah Jaber along with other Palestinians who play in the Israeli leagues are barred from playing with the national team as the PFA has a stated policy of not dealing with Israeli clubs. Jaber has gone on record saying that he is not closing the door on the national team and will play for them should the parties involved find a solution to the impasse.
At this stage of his career, Jaber’s move to Hapoel Hadera can be seen as a stepping stone, should he play to his ability he is far more likely to attract interest and offers from European leagues than he did whilst in the West Bank.
The Tayibe born Jaber leaves the West Bank Premier League as one of its most decorated players despite never having won the league title he lifted four Palestine Cups (West Bank leg), three Super Cups, as well as the Yasser Arafat Cup in his time with Hilal Al-Quds and Ahli Al-Khaleel.
The left back rose to prominence in 2014 earning his first national team cap against Kyrgyzstan during the Challenge Cup. A key member of the side that qualified for Palestine’s first ever Asian Cup in 2015- Abdallah Jaber played every single minute of Asia’s showpiece event in 2015 and 2019.
At just 27 years old, Jaber is already the fifth most capped player in Palestine’s history having amassed 56 caps over six years- scoring twice and assisting four times.
Hapoel Hadera currently sit in eight place in Israel’s 14-team top tier, three points off the Championship round with seven matches left to play. The Israeli Premier League returns to action on June 4th.