by Khaled Abu Toameh
The Palestinian Authority on Sunday reaffirmed the death penalty for any Palestinian found guilty of selling land to Israelis.
The decision came in response to a ruling by a Palestinian court according to which such acts were only a “minor offense.”
PA Prosecutor-General Ahmed al-Mughni appealed against the ruling to a higher court, arguing that the sale of land to Israelis was a “major offense” punishable by death.
The appeal was accepted.
That verdict considering such offenses a major offense is aimed at reminding Palestinians of the PA law that prohibits selling land to Jews, Mughni said.
The land law, which was originally put in force by Jordan between 1948 and 1967, carries the death sentence.
The PA says the law is necessary to prevent the expansion of Jewish settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.
In 1997, the PA announced that it would seek the death penalty for any Palestinian convicted of selling land to Jews or Israelis, in accordance with the Jordanian “Law for Preventing the Sale of Real Estate to the Enemy.”
According to the 1973 legislation, the sale of property to Jews or Israelis constitutes a crime against state security and well-being, punishable by death and the confiscation of the culprit’s possessions.
The PA later drafted its own law to replace the Jordanian statute. The law is called the “Property Law for Foreigners.”
It describes the sale of land to “occupiers” as an act of “national treason.” Although the PA has thus far refrained from executing those convicted of selling land to Jews, there have been many extrajudicial killings of Palestinian suspects over the past decades.
Khaled Abu Toameh
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Tuesday, September 21, 2010
PA affirms death penalty for land sales to Israelis
Posted by Sally Zahav at 11:01 PM