U.S. Urged to Cut Aid to Palestinian Authority Until It Frees Dual American Citizen Who Sold Property to Jews

CNS News | 1/3/2019 | Staff
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(CNSNews.com) – The Palestinian Authority is reportedly considering handing over to the U.S. a dual American citizen who was sentenced earlier this week to life imprisonment with hard labor for selling a property in Jerusalem to Jewish buyers.

Israel’s public broadcaster Kan quoted an official in Mahmoud Abbas’s P.A. as saying the self-rule administration wanted to rid itself of a situation that has “become a burden.”

Plight - Issam - Aqel - Outrage - Quarters

The plight of Issam Aqel has stoked outrage in some quarters, with one U.S.-based Jewish organization saying the U.S. should withhold all aid to the P.A. until it releases him.

Major human rights groups that frequently comment on the Israeli-Palestinian situation, however, have been silent about the case.

Monday - PA - Court - Ramallah - Attention

His sentencing Monday in a P.A. court in Ramallah has drawn fresh attention to a controversial P.A. law banning all sales of Palestinian-owned property to Jews, with offenders risking the death penalty.

Aqel (also Akel), a 53-year-old resident of east Jerusalem, was arrested by P.A. security forces in October, apparently while visiting Ramallah. The P.A. has no legal authority in Jerusalem, but wants at least part of the city as the capital of an envisaged future independent state.

PA - News - Agency - WAFA - Ramallah

The official P.A. news agency WAFA reported that the Ramallah Grand Criminal Court sentenced a man with the initials I.A. on Monday “to life in prison with hard labor after it found him guilty of selling Palestinian land to a foreign country.”

The P.A. judiciary office said the accused man had been convicted of “trying to sever a part of the Palestinian territory and annex it to a foreign state.”

Conviction - Life - Sentence - American - Land

“The conviction and life sentence of a Palestinian American for allegedly trying to sell land to a Jewish buyer underscores the Palestinian Authority’s racist and reprehensible policies directed toward Jews,” said Farley Weiss, president of the National Council of Young Israel.

“The prohibition against selling real estate...
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