Egyptian cleric who supported attacks on Israelis, dies at 96

Youssef al-Qaradawi revered Sunni Muslim cleric dies in exile in Qatar after 2013 military coup removed Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt; claimed Holocaust was God's punishment of Jews

Ynet, Agencies|
Muslim cleric Youssef al-Qaradawi, once seen as the highest Sunni authority, died on Saturday at the age of 96.
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  • He had been living in Qatar after following the military's overthrow of a Muslim Brotherhood-led government in Egypt in 2013. An Egyptian court sentenced him to death in absentia in 2015 alongside other Brotherhood leaders.
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    Sunni Muslim cleric Youssef al-Qaradawi
    Sunni Muslim cleric Youssef al-Qaradawi
    Sunni Muslim cleric Youssef al-Qaradawi
    (Photo: Reuters)
    al-Qaradawi had advocated for attacks against Israelis including by suicide missions and called for Jews around the world to be targeted as well.
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     Aftermath of a suicide bombing of a Tel Aviv bus in 1994
     Aftermath of a suicide bombing of a Tel Aviv bus in 1994
    Aftermath of a suicide bombing of a Tel Aviv bus in 1994
    (Photo: Shaul Golan)
    In 2009, the Shin Bet accused al-Qaradawi of allocating $21 million to a charity funded by the Islamic militant group Hamas to set up militant infrastructure in Jerusalem. Hamas, which was originally established as a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood and now rules the Gaza Strip, denied the allegations.
    The cleric also justified the Holocaust and claimed it was God's punishment to Jews.
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    Youssef al-Qaradawi with Ismail Hanyeh
    Youssef al-Qaradawi with Ismail Hanyeh
    Youssef al-Qaradawi with Ismail Hanyeh
    (Photo: AFP)
    He was however opposed to Islamist terrorism around the world and condemned the 2001 attack on the U.S.
    Al-Qaradawi remained a staunch critic of Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi, who led the overthrow of the Brotherhood and who rights groups say has established an even more authoritarian government than the one led by Mubarak.
    Egypt considers the Brotherhood a terrorist group and has arrested thousands of its members.
    Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates included al-Qaradawi on a list of dozens of organizations and individuals that they sanctioned for alleged terrorism in 2017 as part of a diplomatic dispute with Qatar, which denied the allegations.

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