The International Solidarity Movement (ISM) reports:
Al-Bandak, who donned a Scout uniform to receive a commemorative plaque, is one of 447 prisoners already released by Israel in its ongoing exchange of prisoners with the Palestinian government in Gaza.
After sentencing al-Bandak to four lifetimes in occupation prisons in 2003, Israel illegally exiled him to the Gaza Strip from his home in Bethlehem following his release, along with over 160 other West Bank residents.
The only Christian among the released prisoners, he had remained behind in Gaza while most others traveled from it, the West Bank, Israel, or foreign exile to Mecca, Saudi Arabia for the Muslim Hajj.
“People were here of different ages, religions, and parties,” al-Bandak said afterward. “This illustrates the unity and patriotism of the Palestinian people. My welcome in Gaza has been excellent.”
This man the ISM touts as a “political prisoner” was convicted of several shooting attacks which claimed the lives of two Israelis and seriously wounded a third in 2002.
So much for their claims they support “non-violent resistance” only.
As for the Palestinian Scouts who honored this murderer:
In 1948, thousands of Palestinians fled from or were driven from their homes and formed a Palestinian Scout Association in exile. This association was refused membership in the World Organization, but Scouting continued nonetheless. (WOSM recognition of Scout movements is possible only when Scouting is active and operating within the borders of its own national state and that state having a seat in the United Nations.)
In 1993, an agreement was reached and slowly land was returned to the Palestinians. The Palestinian Scout Association immediately resumed its activity in this region. Palestine was not recognized by the United Nations, but WOSM decided to give the Palestinian Scout association a special temporary status. Before the proposal was brought to a vote, the president of the Israel Scouting Federation made a statement asking the World Scout Conference to support the proposal. His speech was received with a standing ovation . The Palestinian Scout Association was accepted as an Associate WOSM Member.
You can contact the World Organization Of The Scout Movement here:
World Organization of the Scout Movement
Rue du Pré-Jérôme 5
PO Box 91
CH-1211 Geneva 4 Plainpalais
Tel.: (+41) 22 705 10 10
Fax.: (+41) 22 705 10 20
Or you can send the feedback directly here.
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