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Hamas boycotts Barcelona

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip -- Hamas is launching a media boycott of Barcelona after reports the Spanish league leader gave a complimentary ticket for an upcoming match to an Israeli soldier formerly held captive by militants in the Gaza Strip.

A Barcelona spokesman confirmed the team had given the ticket to Gilad Schalit, who was captured by Gaza militants in June 2006 and returned home last October under an Israel-Palestinian deal on prisoner exchange.

The team spokesman spoke on condition of anonymity in line with club policy. He says Barcelona often gives complimentary tickets.

Since his release, Schalit writes a newspaper sports column.

Hamas official Attallah Abu Al Subah says that, as of Thursday, no TV station in Gaza will broadcast Barcelona matches and no papers in the coastal strip will write about the club.

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