Photo: Gali Tibbon
Khatem Abdel Kader
Photo: Gali Tibbon
Photo: AFP
Palestinians in east Jerusalem
Photo: AFP

Fayyad aide: Kill men selling land to Israel

Ynet report that PA released suspected land dealers following Israeli pressure stirs row. Palestinian prime minister's advisor on Jerusalem affairs confirms some suspects freed 'due to difficulties, but stresses investigation continues

A Ynet report that the Palestinian Authority halted an investigation against Palestinians suspected of selling land to Jews in east Jerusalem and released the suspects due to Israeli pressure has sparked a row in the PA.


The Palestinian government in the West Bank denied Monday that the investigation has been halted, but confirmed that Israeli pressure had led to the release of several suspects. Members of the Palestinian Legislative Council demanded a through probe into the affair.


Senior Fatah official Hatem Abdel Kader, who serves as Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad's advisor on Jerusalem affairs, denied the report that the latest investigation had been called off.


He clarified that the Palestinian prosecution continued to investigate dozens of affairs in which lands were sold to Israelis, but added 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 confirmed that the PA had arrested several Jerusalem residents for a few days, adding that Israel appealed to the Palestinians through the military coordination and demanded that the released suspects be handed over.


He 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.


However many Palestinians are unsatisfied with these explanations. Jihad Abu Zneid, a Fatah parliament member, told Ynet that the matter was being investigated and that Fatah viewed with severity the land sales and the possibility that an instruction had been given to terminate the investigation.


She added that the Palestinian organizations and President Mahmoud Abbas' office would be questioned on the issue.


The PA views the sales of lands to Jews, particularly in Jerusalem, as severe. Ever since it was established, its organizations are engaged in investigation, arresting, trying and even executing land dealers, who are considered collaborators.


Recently the Palestinians have began using extra caution in their activities in Jerusalem, in light of the increased Israeli pressure aimed at thwarting these PA activities, but they continue monitoring the land sale issue.


פרסום ראשון: 04.20.09, 14:25
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