In the aftermath of the Gilad Shalit deal, in which last week Israel freed 477 security prisoners (to be followed by 550 more) for its kidnapped soldier, a prominent Saudi has called for more kidnappings.
Ynet describes Awad al-Qarni as “a famous Muslim cleric who often guests on TV shows and operates his own website.” He’s also a standard anti-Semite; asked in 2006 to explain the U.S. invasion of Iraq, he pointed to the “Jews in the American administration—I mean the Likud Jews, the extreme right wing over there…. Some of the top American officials have Israeli citizenship. Some of them were top officials in Israel….”
Al-Qarni is offering $100,000 to any Palestinian who kidnaps another Israeli soldier. He says he’s doing so in response to an ad by an Israeli family offering a similar sum for anyone who catches a terrorist who murdered their relative in 1998.
While Western minds might note a moral asymmetry between having a murderer and an ordinary soldier as the target, Al-Qarni’s Facebook post on the matter had already “received more than 1,000 likes and extensive coverage in Hamas-affiliated newspapers in Gaza.”
Al-Qarni’s offer is part of a wave of enthusiasm for the release of so many murderers in the Shalit deal. Ahmad Jabari, head of Hamas’s military wing, said Hamas would “continue to abduct Israeli soldiers and officers as long as there are Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.” Hamas TV proclaims that abducting six more soldiers is all that’s needed. A spate of maverick, spontaneous terror attacks on the West Bank may also be connected to the triumphant mood.
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