Freih Abu Middein, responsible for the Justice portfolio in the Palestinian Authority, said that the PA will impose the death sentence on any Palestinian involved in selling land to Jews or Israelis. The Palestinian Legislative Council voted last week to authorize the PA to strengthen security and judicial frameworks in order to crack down on such land sales. Arutz Sheva News Service Monday, May 5, 1997 / Nisan 28, 5757
The body of the Arab real estate agent Farid al-Bashiti, who was murdered last week by Arafat's security forces, was examined today in the (Israeli) Pathological Institute in Abu Kabir. His family was refused permission to hold a funeral ceremony in a Jerusalem mosque, and the imam [the prayer leader] told them that he should be buried next to the murdered Arab who sold his Jerusalem apartment to Ariel Sharon some years ago. MK Chanan Porat (NRP) has joined his colleague MK Shaul Yahalom in asking the Attorney-General to open an investigation against top Arafat-advisor Dr. Ahmed Tibi. They claim that Tibi's remarks against Palestinians who sell land to Jews - "They have sold their soul to the devil" - constitute incitement to murder. Al-Bashiti was murdered the same day that Tibi's remarks were broadcast. Arutz Sheva News Service Sunday, May 11, 1997
SECOND ARAB MURDERED FOR SELLING LAND TO JEWS Harbi Muslah Abu-Sara, of the Arab village Ein-Yabrud near Ofra, was found dead with gunshot wounds in his head this past Saturday in PLO-controlled Ramallah. Villagers say that he was suspected of selling real estate to Jews. Abu-Sara's murder is the second killing of this sort since the announcement by Freih Abu-Medein, holder of the Justice Portfolio in the Palestinian Authority, that any Arab who sells land to a Jew will be executed. Yesterday, Farid al-Bashiti, a 70-year-old eastern Jerusalem real estate agent, was laid to rest after being brutally slain on suspicion of selling properties to Jews. According to Israeli officials, he was seen at Arafat's Force 17 headquarters in Ramallah on Thursday night, May 8th. Five hours later, the hospital in Ramallah phoned his wife and told her to "come and pick up your husband's body;" his skull was crushed, his hands were tied behind his back, and his mouth was sealed with plastic tape. His burial was delayed because of threats by Muslim elements who wished to prevent his body from being interred in Jerusalem.
The Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman expressed outrage at the murder of Bashiti. The Judea-Samaria Israel Police District spokesman said that the police would not investigate the murder, as the crime was perpetrated in an area under Palestinian jurisdiction. American congressmen, including U.S. House International Relations Committee Chairman Benjamin A. Gilman (R-NY) and Jim Saxton (R-NJ), have labeled the new PA policy "racist and anti-Semitic."
Arutz Sheva News Service Monday, May 19, 1997
"We condemn this abhorrent crime and emphasize that despite all the conspiracies, Jerusalem and Palestine from the river to the sea will remain Islamic until judgment day... A land speculator for the Jews, in whose birth certificate it states that he is a Muslim, was killed. There is a possibility that his body will be brought to Al-Aksa mosque or another mosque. We wish to remind you that Islamic law forbids the washing and wrapping in shrouds of his body and forbids praying for his soul or burying him in a Muslim cemetery. We call upon you to beware. This should serve as a lesson to all traitors and speculators who collaborate with the Jews."
--- in his weekly sermon at Al-Aksa Mosque on the Temple Mount (Voice of Palestine, May 9, 1997)
Ali Mahmud Araf Jamhur, 32, an Israeli citizen living in Shuafat, Jerusalem, who sold a house to the Jewish group Elad, was shot to death yesterday near Ramallah. He is the third Arab land dealer to have been murdered in the past few weeks. The Palestinian Authority has denied any involvement in the killing, but Minister of Public Security Avigdor Kahalani said today that there is no doubt that Yasser Arafat gave the order to kill Jamhur; he ordered an intense police investigation into the murder. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu stated today that the killing poses a great question mark as to the intentions of the PA to attain a peace agreement with Israel.
Jamhur sold a house in Abu Tor to Elad six months ago. The original owners published a notice in the Arab press, saying they did not know that Jamhur dealt with Jews. Last week, Jamhur received a phone call at his place of employment in a restaurant in Clal Center in Jerusalem, telling him to appear for interrogation at the Palestinian GSS in Ramallah. He was released after two days, and he told his family that his interrogators told him there was no evidence against him. Yesterday, he left his home at 10 AM, and his body was found four hours later outside of Ramallah.
Evyatar Cohen, of the Elad group, told Arutz-7 today that the Arabs of eastern Jerusalem are fearful for their lives, because "even if you're only suspected of dealings with Jews, you can be taken to the Palestinian GSS offices, and brutally beaten up, and likely killed a few days or hours later." He blamed Israel for not doing anything to stop the killings. He said, "[PA official] Abu Medein recently said that even Israeli Arabs will be killed if they sell land to Jews.
Arutz Sheva News Service Sunday, June 1, 1997 / Iyar 25, 5757 / 40th day of the Omer
The Palestinian Authority received from the previous Israeli government a list of all of the land sales in Judea and Samaria up until the signing of the Oslo II agreement, including the names of the Arab sellers and the Jewish buyers. Military sources confirmed as much today to Arutz-7 correspondent Haggai Huberman. In a related topic, an Arab land-dealer from Kalkilyeh - Rashad Salameh - has been missing from his home for three weeks. He helped many Jews buy lands in Samaria over the past years, and worked with the Israeli security forces. Intelligence reports have it that a relative of Salameh's in the Palestinian security forces abducted him. Twelve land-dealers are still being interrogated and tortured in Bethlehem PA offices.
Arutz-7 News: Friday, June 6, 1997
An editorial in the semi-official Egyptian government newspaper Al-Ahram has come out in support of the killings of the Arab real estate agents. The decision of the Palestinian Legislative Council is touted by the newspaper as nothing more than an actualization of its authorities recognized under international law. The author criticized Israel for the help that it has offered the threatened agents.
Arutz-7 News: Sunday, June 8, 1997
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