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Saudi cleric offers cash for Israel soldier kidnap
Published Wednesday 26/10/2011 (updated) 27/10/2011 23:16
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Awad al-Qarni made the offer on his Facebook page.
DUBAI (Reuters) -- A prominent Saudi cleric has offered to pay $100,000 to any Palestinian who kidnaps an Israeli soldier, according to his Facebook page.

Awad al-Qarni said he had made the offer in response to a similar reward promised by an Israeli family for anyone who catches the person who killed one of its members in 1998, following the exchange this month of more than 1,000 prisoners for a captive Israeli soldier.

"The media reported the news of the Zionist occupiers paying a huge sum to anyone who killed the freed Palestinian prisoners," Qarni, who is well known in Saudi Arabia for his outspoken views but is not part of the official clerical establishment, said on his Facebook page.

"In response to those criminals, I announce to the world that I am committed to pay a $100,000 prize to any Palestinian inside Palestine who takes an Israeli soldier captive to exchange with (remaining) prisoners."

Qarni told Al Arabiya television that he had received wide support on his Facebook page and elsewhere.

"We have also received letters from ... groups from Arab countries. So the issue is not limited to Qarni, who was just the person who launched this initiative," he told the station by telephone.

Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam, sees itself as a champion of Palestinian rights but Saudi leaders have been at pains to curb more radical statements by Muslim clerics on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

In 2002, the Western-allied kingdom floated a peace initiative calling for full Arab recognition of Israel if it gave up all lands occupied in a 1967 war and accepts a solution for Palestinian refugees.
1 ) ronen / israel
26/10/2011 23:27
if he has so much money to spend why didnt he send some of it to poor palestinian families until now? where does a cleric get this much money from? saudia selling oil to israel and the US and than talks like its some champion of palestinians. saudys are as hypocrite as the rest of the arabs

2 ) Nira / Sun
27/10/2011 00:18
Well done sheikh, I never new you before and I'm going to add you on Facebook! I'm sure any Palestinian who captures any militant will be awarded paradise!

3 ) rashid / sudan
27/10/2011 01:04
the most bizarre article ever..

4 ) Colin Wright / USA
27/10/2011 01:42
This sort of thing may be gratifying, but it's not terribly useful. In the end, it's just giving ammunition to the Zionists.

5 ) Robby / USA
27/10/2011 02:34
"A prominent Saudi cleric has offered to pay $100,000 to any Palestinian who kidnaps an Israeli soldier, according to his Facebook page." First I wonder why a cleric would make such an offer, which is essentially advocating violence, and second, that seems like a lot of money for someone with a supposedly humble profession. Third the Israeli family offered an award for a murderer, hardly the same.

6 ) Christopher / USA
27/10/2011 08:05
Gilad Shalit worked on a tank brigade that bombarded Gaza. In all likelihood he /is/ a murderer too.

7 ) Carlos / USA
27/10/2011 12:06
Colin is right. If peace, equality and security is the goal for the all the people, Israelis and Palestinians, then both are wrong. However the Israeli family is advocating terrorism! I disagree with Robby. It is the same. It will not be punished by Israeli government. It will not even be condemned by the US or France or any other government. However the prominent Saudi Cleric may be arrested by Saudis or taken out quietly. I think Israelis need to condemn the family for starting this mess.

8 ) Salma / Palestine
27/10/2011 14:48
dear Saudi cleric, you can give your money to people starving in Somali, our freedom fighters don't need it, we resist occupation for our beloved Palestine and not for money, i wonder instead of making a silly offer , why don't you come and fight? isn't Jerusalem for all Muslims or is it only for Palestinians?

9 ) Robby / USA
27/10/2011 15:36
6 ) Christopher / USA - That makes about as much sense as saying you are an American and pay taxes that have been used to support our armed forces, execute criminals, etc, so you are criminal - just makes no sense. And as an American you should understand that "in all likelihood" does not mean guilty.

10 ) Robby / USA
27/10/2011 15:38
2 ) Nira / Sun "I'm sure any Palestinian who captures any militant will be awarded paradise!" So if they kidnap someone from the Al Qassam Brigade they will win a pass to paradise too? !

11 ) Elias / Haifa, Pal
27/10/2011 19:57
The last people to condemn it are the americans who do the exaxt same thing and "israelis" who murder people left and right including thousands of children should keep their mouth shut. Your soldiers and settler militias are among the most brutal and most violent creatures on earth so simply zip it hypocrites. And just because he offers money for kidnapping a terrorist zionazi it doesnt mean he doesnt give money to the poor. And as to where he got his money, he is an published author etc.

12 ) palestinian / occupied Palestine
27/10/2011 20:04
the question here is why maan news agency, a supposedly palestinian news agency, publishes such a news item while it totally ignored the reports about the settlers who offered money to anyone who kills palestinians.

13 ) Yehuda Solomon / Israel
27/10/2011 23:38
Looking at this as if I were an Israelite whose family member had been killed by any of the freed Palestinians, I can definitely understand why the Israelite family offered this "reward" and began this initiative in the 1st place. I can also, from Awad al-Qarni's view (much as I hate it), understand his reaction in making his "counter"-offer. Having said all that (to use that overused phrase), I fully support Colin Wright's views (my 2nd time in so doing--unbelievable but true). (continued)

14 ) Yehuda Solomon / Israel
28/10/2011 00:01
@ 5) Robby / USA, Good points; as you no doubt know by now, in the Mideast, 1 man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter. Does this mean everything is relative ? ... No, absolutely not, but that's the heart of the problem. @ 7) Carlos / USA, Since we DID agree to release the Palestinians, if any of us then offers a reward for their capture or killing or is directly involved in so doing (again, as much as I hate to admit it), you ARE right in your views about how this would (continued)

15 ) N. Miari / Palestine
28/10/2011 00:05
Salma, i agree on doing it for palestine and not money but i disagree with your condemnation of this cleric and im no fan of clerics. I think its good that he is replying to the zionists with their own medicine. And its good that he is encouraging people to capture more of the terrorists in order to trade them for Palestinian political prisoners. Let the zionist nazis feel the wrath for what they have done to Palestine and her people. By the way i recommend everyone to read his book la ta7zan.

16 ) Yehuda Solomon / Israel
28/10/2011 00:23
put the blame on us for starting the terrorist/retaliation cycle again. That danger is always 1 reason why these prisoner exchanges, no matter the benefits, basically suck. Regarding Saudi Arabia's 2002 peace proposal, yes, it IS admirable. It DOES point to peace. Problem: It's too damn late. What may have worked 44 damn years ago is NOT going to work now.

17 ) Colin Wright / USA
28/10/2011 04:50
To Yehuda Solomon #16 'Regarding Saudi Arabia's 2002 peace proposal, yes, it IS admirable. It DOES point to peace. Problem: It's too damn late. What may have worked 44 damn years ago is NOT going to work now.' What will be too late is your deciding you want to accept it around 2016. ...Fortunately. One of the keys to bringing about a free Palestine is an uncompromising Israel. Hang tough!

18 ) Palestinian / Dubai
28/10/2011 19:56
#15) we must not lower ourselves to racist rabbis.
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