Issam Akel, an American citizen and resident of east Jerusalem, was arrested by Palestinian Authority security forces in October 2018
When Airbnb decided to delist only homes in Jewish settlements in Judea & Samaria (the “West Bank”), we pointed out the multiple levels of hypocrisy.
One of those levels was that Jews are not permitted to purchase land outside of settlements because such sales were considered treasonous by Palestinians. Any Palestinian caught selling land to Jews faced imprisonment, or street execution.
Here is a section from our post, Airbnb to boycott Jews living in the ‘West Bank’:
Airbnb has been under a sustained pressure campaign by anti-Israeli activist groups to cease listing homes and apartments for rent in Israeli Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria (the “West Bank”).
The area was ethnically cleansed of Jews by the Jordanians after Jordan captured the area in Israel’s War of Independence. The 1949 Armistice Line was where the fighting stopped, and left many historically Jewish areas, including the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, in Jordanian hands. Israel recaptured the area in 1967.
Israeli Jews in those areas live in settlements because the regular housing market is not available. Palestinians are forbidden by the Palestinian Authority and terrorist groups, often under threat of death, from selling or renting to Jews. And given the long history of violence, including stabbings and shootings, directed towards Jews in those areas, it would be too dangerous.
Earlier in December 2018, an Israeli Arab was executed by unknown gunmen after accusations he sold land to Jews. The Times of Israel reported:
A Palestinian man killed in an Arab Israeli town over the weekend was involved in the sale of West Bank land to Jews, Palestinian media reported Saturday.
Ahmed Salama, a resident of Jaljulia in central Israel, was shot Friday near his home and later pronounced dead at Meir Hospital in nearby Kfar Saba. Police have opened an investigation into the shooting.
Originally from the West Bank city of Qalqilya, Salama acquired residency in Israel through his marriage to an Arab Israeli woman, the Ynet news site said.
Citing an unnamed Palestinian Authority source, Ynet reported Salama was wanted by the PA for selling land to Jewish settlers, which is punishable by death under the West Bank-based government’s penal code.
Here is another such example.
The Jerusalem Post reports:
A Palestinian court in Ramallah sentenced a Palestinian-American to life in prison with hard labor on Monday, after finding him guilty of selling a house in the Old City of Jerusalem to a Jewish Israeli organization.
The man was identified as Issam Akel, a resident of east Jerusalem, who was arrested by Palestinian Authority security forces in October.
The story of the incarceration of the 53-year-old Akel, a US citizen, was first reported by The Jerusalem Post earlier this year.
The Palestinian Grand Criminal Court found Akel guilty of “attempting to cut off a part of the Palestinian land and adding them to a foreign country.”
The verdict was issued after a one-week trial.
Akel worked for one of the PA ministries and a hospital in east Jerusalem, according to Palestinian sources.
It remains unclear how he was arrested by PA security forces. As a resident of east Jerusalem, he holds an Israeli ID card that gives him immunity against being arrested or prosecuted in a PA court.
Some reports said that Akel was arrested while he was staying in Ramallah. Other reports, however, claimed that he had been kidnapped from east Jerusalem and taken to Ramallah.
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