US demands PA release American held for selling land to Jews

“Akel’s incarceration is antithetical to the values of the U.S. & to all who advocate the cause of peaceful coexistence. We demand his immediate release,” Friedman tweeted.

By Jack Gold, World Israel News

U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman on Wednesday demanded that the Palestinian Authority (PA) immediately release Isaam Akel, an Israeli Arab with American citizenship who has been in PA custody since being charged with helping to sell an Arab-owned house to Jews.

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

Akel has been in PA custody since the beginning of October. Charged 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.

His family has reached out to the U.S. Department of State for help, and representatives of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem have visited him. Now the U.S. is demanding his release.

“The Pal Authority has been holding US citizen Isaam Akel in prison for ~2 months. His suspected “crime”? Selling land to a Jew,” Friedman tweeted.

“Akel’s incarceration is antithetical to the values of the US & to all who advocate the cause of peaceful coexistence. We demand his immediate release,” he stated in another tweet.

Israeli security forces have arrested several Palestinian officials in connection with the abduction, including the PA’s governor of Jerusalem.