Barca invites 3 Palestinians after Hamas boycott

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BARCELONA, Spain (AP) -- Barcelona has invited three Palestinians to attend its Oct. 7 match against Real Madrid in response to Hamas calling for a media boycott of the club after it gave a complimentary ticket to an Israeli soldier.

Barcelona announced in a statement that it had accepted the Palestinian embassy's request for tickets for soccer player Mahmoud Al Sarsak, who was held in an Israeli jail for three years until his release this year following a hunger strike. The club also invited Palestinian Football Union President Jibril Rajoub and the Palestinian Authority ambassador.

The Spanish club also said that after receiving a ticket request from him, it invited Gilad Schalit, the Israeli soldier who was held captive from 2006-11 by Gaza Strip militants.