Israel bars disabled Palestinian athlete

Israel bars disabled Palestinian athlete

Published Jun. 7, 2012 1:00 a.m. ET

Israel has barred a paralyzed Palestinian athlete who lives in Gaza from an Olympics celebration sponsored by the British government.

Khamis Zakout says the British Consulate in Jerusalem invited him and five fellow athletes on the Palestinian para-Olympics team to a pre-Olympics celebration in Jerusalem and the West Bank city of Ramallah. He says he was the only one banned from attending.

The Israeli military says Zakout was barred for security reasons. The Shin Bet internal security service had no immediate comment.

The 47-year-old Zakout says he has no security record and worked in Israel before his legs were paralyzed in a work accident there in 1992.


Zakout competes in the javelin and shot put. He plans to travel from Gaza by way of Egypt to attend the London Olympics.