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Parents of slain Israeli soldier fail to prevent Hamas prisoners from watching Euro final

July 10, 2016 10:45 P.M. (Updated: July 11, 2016 5:50 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- The parents of a slain Israeli soldier failed in their attempt to prevent Hamas-affiliated prisoners being held in Israeli prisons from having “the privilege” of watching the Euro 2016 soccer championship final between France and Portugal scheduled for Sunday evening, according to Israeli media.

The Israeli High Court of Justice rejected the petition on Sunday, which was filed by the family of Oron Shaul, an Israeli soldier who was killed during Israel’s 2014 ground offensive on the Gaza Strip, whose remains are still being held in Gaza.

The parents demanded that Hamas prisoners be prevented from watching the Sunday night game, as part of the Shauls’ larger protest against recent reported “improvements” to the conditions of nearly 3,500 Hamas-affiliated prisoners being held in Israeli prisons.

Some of the alleged benefits included permission to watch the Euro 2016 soccer tournament, an increase from three to seven television channels, hard-boiled eggs at meals, and an additional 200 shekels ($51) for the canteen, according to the Times of Israel.

Despite the Shaul’s call for “an eye for an eye [and] a tooth for a tooth,” the Israeli Prison Service rejected the petition on the basis that there was no legal precedent for barring prisoners from watching public television.

“The game tonight is aired on Channel 2, and thus there is no difference between this and any other program broadcast on Channel 2, which is a public channel,” the IPS said in a statement.

“There is no legal impediment to security prisoners watching the European Championships final on Channel 2, which is a public channel, and the petitioners did not present us with any legal or factual basis to prevent a group of prisoners or anyone else from watching the game,” the court decision read.

The decision came one week after the Israeli High Court rejected another petition by the Shaul family to cancel Israel’s recent rapprochement deal with Turkey.

The Shaul’s had tried and failed to convince the Israeli government to condition the peace deal with Turkey on the release of their son’s body, as well as the body of Israeli soldier Hadar Goldin, who was also killed in the Gaza war in 2014 and whose remains were never returned.
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