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Palestinians Protest Spanish Soccer Team Honoring Former Hostage Shalit

By: JTA

Palestinian groups are calling on Arab sports and soccer unions to protest a Spanish soccer club’s invitation to former Israeli captive Gilad Shalit.

The Catalan soccer team has invited Shalit as a guest of honor to its Oct. 7 Super Clasico match against Real Madrid. Shalit, who was held hostage for several years by Palestinian terrorists with the Hamas government’s approval, is to be presented with a medal during the event.

In response, the Palestinian press has called on Arab sports and soccer groups to protest while Hamas announced a media boycott of Barcelona soccer teams, which are popular with the Palestinians.

No TV station in Gaza will broadcast Barcelona matches and no newspapers in Gaza will write about the clubs, Hamas official Attallah Abu Al Subah said on Thursday. Palestinian TV broadcasts of Spanish soccer games generally receive high ratings.

A Palestinian prisoners organization in Gaza released a statement that said, “Gilad Shalit’s invite is a new cover-up of Zionist crimes under the pretense of sports. How can a dignified sports club, which calls for culture and humanity, invite a murderer and criminal like Shalit to honor and thank him?”

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