A special Palestinian tribunal on Tuesday discussed for the first time the sale of lands to Jews by Palestinians, which has made waves in the West since it was first reported by Ynet.
The first person put on trial was a Hebron resident suspected of selling lands to Israelis. The prosecution demanded that he be convicted of treason.
The court hearing lasted more than six hours and included a reading of the indictment filed against the man. The prosecution presented documents including the locations of the lands the suspect allegedly sold to Israelis in the Hebron area.
Sources in the Palestinian Authority said that if the man were to be convicted of treason, he would most likely be sentenced to death.
Ynet reported recently that many Palestinians suspected of selling lands to Jews – including Israeli Arabs living in east Jerusalem – were released following Israeli pressure, and that the investigations against them were closed.
Following the report, members of the Fatah faction in the Jewish area began looking for the person who issued the order to end the investigation against those suspect. At the same time, the Palestinians are conducting a media and political war aimed at preventing Israeli associations from purchasing lands and houses in Jerusalem.
Senior Fatah member Hatem Abdel Kader, who serves as Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad's advisor on Jerusalem affairs, clarified
Monday that the Palestinian prosecution was continuing its investigations into dozens of land sale affairs.
He added, however, that "there are difficulties in the interrogation of some of the Jerusalemite suspects due to Israeli pressures, and because the prosecution is finding it difficult to prepare indictments against them."
Abdel Kader added that the investigations focused on the sale of some 13,000 dunam (3,212 acres) in Jerusalem and its surroundings. He stressed that the PA was working firmly in to combat the sale of land to Israelis, adding that those who are found guilty of selling land to Jews should be executed.