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    Abbas Issues 'Direct Orders' to Persecute Palestinians Selling Property to Jews

    © AP Photo / VosIzNeias.com, Eli Wohl
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    In October, the Palestinian Mufti reminded that any deal to sell houses and lands to Israeli Jews, which is banned under the Palestinian Authority's law and religious decrees, is tantamount to "high treason."

    Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas issued "direct orders" to crack down on East Jerusalem residents who are suspected of selling property to Israeli Jews, the Jerusalem Post cited a spokesman for Abbas's ruling Fatah faction in the West Bank as saying.

    Osama Qawassmeh confirmed that Isam Aqel, an American-Palestinian man from East Jerusalem, was arrested by Palestinian security forces after he was accused of being involved in the sale of an Arab-owned house in East Jerusalem to Israeli Jews.

    READ MORE: East Jerusalem Man Accused of Raping American Tourist in Bethlehem

    Qawassmeh said that Israel threatened to invade Ramallah and destroy "all the Palestinian Authority offices" there Aqel is not released.

    "In spite of the threats, the Palestinian Authority refused to release the suspect," Qawassmeh added.

    He pledged that the Palestinian security forces will continue to target those Palestinians who are suspected of involvement in real estate transactions with Israeli Jews in East Jerusalem. 

    READ MORE: Egypt Confirms Commitment to Palestinians' Rights on East Jerusalem

    "This is a very dangerous issue," he said, describing Isam Aqel, who was detained about a month ago, as one of the largest real estate agents from East Jerusalem involved in selling property.

    The Jerusalem Post cited sources as saying that the man had only acted as a "solicitor" between the owner of the house and the Israeli Jewish group that bought it.

    The family of Aqel, in turn, notified the US Department of State about his arrest, voicing deep concern over his safety.

    READ MORE: Neither Israelis Nor Palestinians Expect a Two-State Solution Within Five Years

    Last month, the Palestinian Mufti recalled selling houses and lands to Israeli Jews  is tantamount to "high treason", something which is in line with the Palestinian Authority's law and religious decrees that prohibit such sales.

    East Jerusalem remains an essential part of the two-state solution, a concept of the settlement of the Middle East crisis calling for the creation of two states, Israel and Palestine.

    Palestinians seek to establish the independent state within its 1967 borders, on the territories of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, which is partially occupied by Israel, and the Gaza Strip.

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    involvement, property, security forces, residents, Mahmoud Abbas, Israel, East Jerusalem
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