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Sun 30 Oct 2011 07:30 AM

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Saudi prince backs cleric's bounty offer for Israeli soldier

Awad al-Qarni allegedly received death threats after offering $100,000 for the kidnap

Saudi prince backs cleric's bounty offer for Israeli soldier
Awad al-Qarni offered to pay $100,000 to any Palestinian who kidnaps an Israeli soldier

A member of the Saudi royal family has pledged $900,000 to a
bounty offered by a prominent cleric to any Palestinian who kidnaps an Israeli
soldier, according to comments aired on a private TV station on Saturday.

Prince Khaled bin Talal, a brother of Saudi billionnaire
Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, told Daleel television over the phone that he
decided to contribute to Awad al-Qarni's bounty after the Saudi cleric received
death threats for offering $100,000 to capture an Israeli soldier.

"Dr Awad al-Qarni said he was offering $100,000 to only
take a prisoner but they responded by offering $1m to kill Awad al-Qarni,"
Prince Khaled said, according to a recording of the call published on Daleel's
website.

"I tell Dr Awad al-Qarni, 'I will be in solidarity with
you and pay the remaining $900,000 to take an Israeli soldier prisoner so that
other prisoners can be freed,'" he added.

Qarni said on his Facebook page this week that he 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 a
prisoner exchange agreement earlier this month of more than 1,000 Palestinians
for the captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

Qarni is well known in Saudi Arabia for his outspoken views
but is not part of the official clerical establishment.

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.

Digital magazine: Read the latest edition of Arabian Business online

robert allen 8 years ago

Wrong to offer reward to capture Israeli!!

His Country is going to irritae USA. The King should condem his statement!!

Abbas Fatah leader should also condem this statement.

Graham 8 years ago

Sorry - why is it wrong when the Israelis already offering bounties on the head of Palestinians?

Jake 8 years ago

Hm let us think, maybe because those individuals might have been found guilty of crimes by a court.

Clever thinking of Israel to undermine the authority of Abbas and spur the inner palestinian conflict between Hamas and Fatah just weeks after his speech in front of the UN.

Just dont give them the chance to stand united, because they might just get what they ask for.