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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Protesting Palestine

TEL AVIV, Israel () -- In a sign of less sporting times in the Middle East, Israel has asked the International Olympic Committee to prevent the first Palestinian Olympic team from calling itself "Palestine."

"It's an improper effort to introduce politics into the Games," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Danny Shek. He said the request was submitted earlier Sunday.

Shek said the use of the name "Palestine" without coordination with Israel was a violation of the Israel-PLO autonomy accords which set explicit guidelines for the Palestinians' use of symbols of sovereignty.

The accords allow the Palestinian autonomy in the West Bank and Gaza to issue stamps and passports, for example. But Israel has tried to prevent reference to the "Palestinian Authority" by any other name that might imply recognition of the Palestinians' claim to future statehood.

No immediate reaction was available from the Palestinians or from the IOC on the Israeli request.