Israeli football team faces its toughest test yet as team of footballers from Gaza is sent to Beloit paper making

The Israel Defense Forces has sent five soccer players from the Gaza Strip to the Beloit Papermaking Company in Michigan for a five-week training course, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported Friday.

The five players, who are not affiliated with the team, are part of a team from Gaza that has participated in the World Cup and has won a silver medal in the Israel Rugby League Championship in June.

The team will participate in the annual Beloit Derby on Sunday, the paper reported.

The soccer players, from the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, will receive instruction in the production of paper at the papermaking factory in the northern city of Beersheba, and the students will be stationed in the city for five weeks, Haaretz said.

The paper said the players will begin their training in mid-July.

The Beloit team will take part in the Belfort Derby, the annual international competition held in Beloit, in September.