While an Israeli group has offered $10 million to Gazans who share information on the whereabouts of captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, a Palestinian charity group based in the enclave has offered a $1.5 million reward for kidnappers of Israeli soldiers, the pan-Arab daily AL HAYAT reported Thursday. Waad, a charity organization that helps Palestinian captives, promised Palestinians on Wednesday a big reward for capturing an Israeli soldier. "We are willing to collect $1.5 million for anyone who seizes a Zionist soldier to trade him in for Palestinian captives," Waad said in a statement.
The group, which is close to Islamist Palestinian group Hamas, the caretaker of the impoverished enclave, said the move came in response to an offer by "Zionist associations to pay $10 million to whoever gives away accurate information about the fate of Gilad Shalit." Waad said the Israeli move was motivated "by clear intelligence bankruptcy". An Israeli group has been offering $10 million to Palestinians who would cough up information on Shalit's whereabouts.
The group has contacted thousands of Gazans to date and offered them money in exchange for information on Shalit, who has been under Hamas' captivity since June 2006. A group official was quoted by the Israeli paper Yediot Ahronot as saying that some Gazans have indeed given away information about Shalit, but the group still needs to check for accuracy. (See MER 19/11/2009).