PA Attempting to Prevent Jerusalem Arabs from Selling Property to Jews
JNS.org – The Palestinian Authority is attempting to prevent Jerusalem Arabs, who live under Israeli jurisdiction, from selling properties to Jews in free-market conditions. Despite an Israeli law banning the Palestinian Authority from engaging in political and diplomatic activities in areas under full Israeli sovereignty — including all of Jerusalem — a Fatah official said Thursday that leader Mahmoud Abbas is intensifying efforts to penalize Arabs suspected of selling properties to Israeli Jews in Jerusalem.
According to Fatah spokesman Osama Qawassmeh, PA security forces have arrested Isam Aqel, an American citizen, on suspicion of assisting in the sale of an Arab-owned house in Jerusalem’s Old City.
After Aqel’s family notified the US State Department, Israel arrested PA officials Adnan Geith and Jihad Faqeeh for their involvement in Aqel’s arrest.
Fatah’s Qawassmeh told Al-Watan Voice news that Aqel, who was arrested a month ago, is a real estate agent involved in helping Arabs make connections with Israeli Jews seeking to buy properties. Often, Israelis are willing to pay above-market value prices to acquire such properties, which can represent a significant financial gain for Arabs wishing to sell.