PA’s anti-Jewish land laws on display as 2 arrested in kidnapping affair

Israel arrested two Palestinian officials suspected of being involved in the abduction of an Arab who committed the offense of facilitating the sale of land to Jews. 

By Jack Gold, World Israel News

Israel’s security forces earlier this week arrested two Palestinian officials in connection with the kidnapping of an Arab who was charged with the offense of helping to sell an Arab-owned house to Jews, a capital offense in the Palestinian Authority (PA).

The Jerusalem District Court on Monday confined Adnan Jit, the PA governor of the Jerusalem area, to seven days of house arrest. Israeli police suspect that Jit was present during an interrogation of the Arab detainee by the Palestinian security services.

In court, police said Jit expressed support for the PA prescribed death penalty for Arabs who sell lands to Jews. His lawyer claimed that he was only quoting a Fatwa, an Islamic decree, on the matter.

In addition, the Shin Bet (Israel’s Security Agency) arrested Jihad al-Faqih, a member of the Palestinian General Intelligence Service responsible for the east Jerusalem area, on suspicion that he was involved in the abduction and acted on behalf of the PA leadership.

The abducted Arab (whose name is being withheld), holds both Israeli and American citizenship, and has been in PA custody for over two weeks. The PA charged him for his role in facilitating the sale of an Arab home to Jews in the Old City of Jerusalem. He is said to have received a $25,000 commission.

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His family has reached out to the U.S. State Department for help, and representatives of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem have visited him this week.

The PA’s actions are in breach of the Oslo Accords, which state that the PA is forbidden to arrest an Israeli citizen or resident, and if they do so, must release him back to Israel within 24 hours, Israel Hayom reports.

Biased land laws

The sale of land to Jews in Palestinian society is considered a religious offense as well as treason.

In July, the Palestinian mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, issued a fatwa banning Muslims from “facilitating the transfer of ownership of any part of Jerusalem or the land of Palestine to Jews,” or “enemies,” as he referred to them.

The fatwa decreed that the “land of Palestine” was Waqf, an absolute religious endowment in Islamic law, and therefore cannot be sold in any way to non-Muslims.

“Anyone who sells his land to the enemies or accepts compensation for it will commit a sin,” said Hussein in his fatwa. He also warned that anyone who violates the fatwa will be considered an infidel, an apostate and a traitor to God, Islam and his homeland.

The fatwa demands that Muslims boycott anyone who violates the ruling and should therefore refuse to do business with the transgressors, marry them, attend their funerals or bury them in Muslim cemeteries.

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Palestinian law also prohibits Palestinians from selling land to “any man or judicial body or corporation of Israeli citizenship, living in Israel or acting on its behalf.”

Land sales to Israelis are considered treason by the Palestinians because they supposedly threaten the founding of a future state.

Palestinians who sell land to Israelis face the punishment of death.