A Special Section Devoted To This PLO Atrocity

Arutz Sheva News Service -- May 22, 1997


PA Chairman Yasser Arafat confirmed yesterday that the PA will implement the death penalty against Arabs who sell land to Jews. [See insert following this news report.] The PA is in fact actively engaged in seeking and pursuing Arab land dealers who have sold to Jews. Jibril Rajub, head of the Palestinian security forces, has been given a list of Arabs who are suspected of the recently-declared capital crime. Fifteen Arabs from the Hevron-area villages of Yata and Dura have been arrested by Rajub's men over the past several days. They have been transferred for interrogation to Palestinian security service installations in Jericho. The Knesset Land of Israel front, together with the Yesha Council, are operating a distress hot-line for Palestinian land-dealers. The Arab press, apparently fearful of reprisal, refused to publish paid advertisements with the phone number. In recent days, families of Arab land-dealers have asked the Israeli authorities to transfer them over the Green Line, for their safety.

State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns issued a sharp condemnation of Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian Authority on this issue last night. "The United States condemns any law or any decree that would threaten death against any Palestinian for selling land to Israelis or Jews," Burns said. "That's wrong. It's contrary to what must prevail in the Middle East, which is peace... Chairman Arafat must stand up for the rule of law. He must defend it in what he says and what he does, and frankly the recent statements by members of his administration ... inciting Palestinians to attack and murder other Palestinians for selling land, those statements are reprehensible."


In order to protect the lives of Arabs wishing to sell land to Jews, the Freeman Center recommends that the Israeli government adopt an aggressive policy of land acquisition under the right of 'eminent domain.' No more would Arabs be put at risk as any and all land Israel needs for development and security would be immediately confiscated. Compensation would be worked out later and could certainly not be considered a "sale."

As a final measure Israel could outlaw the sale of any land in Eretz Yisrael to any hostile Arab. Of course, NO death penalty, but all such transactions would be null and void under Israeli law. We would expect that the media would fail to understand how moderate this proposal is in comparison to Arafat's. I don't believe we should execute Jews who sell land to Arabs. We can certainly protect Israel without getting barbaric like Arafat.


(SNS News Service -Israel- 5/28) In protest of the newly enacted PA law pertaining to selling of land to Jews, Senator Jesse Helms and Congressman Benjamin Gilman have pledged to work to block additional financial aid to the PA until the law is retracted.

Senator Helms and Congressman Gilman are the Chairmen of the Senate Foreign Relations and House International Relations Committees, respectively. The two powerful Capital Hill personalities have already sent a letter to Secretary of State Albright, informing her they intend to work towards blocking future aid to the PA According to the two, despite a 5-year- aid package that was signed, committing $500 million annually to the PA, they stated the new law is contradictory to accepted international norms and the aid cannot continue.


Head of the PA Justice-portfolio Freih Abu Medein declared again last night that the PA is determined to continue its campaign against Arab real estate agents who sell land to a Jew. He said that the PA will execute any Arab caught making such transactions, including Arabs who are Israeli citizens. "Israeli Arab real estate agents are mistaken if they think that their Israeli ID papers will protect them from the Palestinian Authority. Those persons will be tried and punished by the Palestinian Authority. We will fight the selling of lands in Ramla, Lod, and other cities."

MK Michael Kleiner of the Knesset Land of Israel front said in response: "A PA official threatens 20% of Israel's citizens with execution for selling land to a Jew. I call upon the Arab Knesset members to join us in the campaign to defend those Israeli Arab citizens who are the subject of this threat. I have no doubt that if a similar threat were hanging over 20% of American citizens, the U.S. administration would respond adamantly and swiftly." MK Chanan Porat has demanded of Prime Minister Netanyahu, Justice Minister Hanegbi, and Public Security Minister Avigdor Kahalani to prevent Abu Medein from entering Israel.


The Government Press Office -- May 21, 1997)


"[This] law ... sets the death penalty for those who sell land to Israelis... We are talking about a few traitors, and we shall implement against them what is written in the law books." --- Arafat, in an interview with an Israeli newspaper (Yediot Acharonot, May 21, 1997) "We are taking forceful steps against those who do this. Recently, a decision was passed to punish anyone who sells land, property or homes. We are keeping track of land dealers and punishing them." --- in an interview with a Lebanese newspaper (Al-Hawadath, May 16, 1997)


"This is a very dangerous act and there has been a decision to ban it by putting anyone who sells even a centimeter on swift trial and to seek the death penalty against them...These people are traitors and Israel exploits them in expanding its settlements." --- in an interview (Agence France Presse, May 5, 1997) "I warned the land dealers several times through the media not to play with fire. For us, whoever sells land to Jews and settlers is more dangerous than collaborators. Therefore, they must be put on trial and sentenced to death... they are traitors." --- in an interview with an Israeli newspaper (Yediot Acharonot, May 20, 1997)


"Whoever is found to have sold land to Jews, his punishment is death. It is forbidden to pray for him, it is forbidden to purify his body before burial, and it is forbidden to bury him in a Muslim cemetery. We are obligated to remind the public of this religious law, so as not to allow Jews to purchase Arab land and property with dollars they receive from America in order to throw us out of this land." --- in an interview with an Israeli newspaper

(Yediot Acharonot, May 20, 1997)

"The Zionist entity exists on seized land. The Jews remain enemies because they expropriate lands, build settlements and pay high sums to buy properties. They are the greatest enemies of us Muslims." --- in a newspaper interview (The New York Times, May 18, 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)


Israel said it would complain to the U.N. commission on human rights over the Palestinian Authority's decision to impose the death penalty on people who sell land to Jews. [Editor's Note: I don't believe that Israel should give the UN credit for having any moral or ethical values. In Trumaneske language, the entire UN is "not worth a bucket of warm spit."]

In Washington, The United States sharply criticized Palestinian President Yasser Arafat for saying he backed the law in an interview published Wednesday. "Frankly his comments are comments that we cannot support, are comments that leave us quite puzzled as to why he would say those things," said State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns. "The United States condemns any law or any decree that would threaten death against any Palestinian for selling land to Israelis or Jews," Burns told a news briefing. "It's contrary to what must prevail in the Middle East, which is peace."

A statement issued by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said:

"The cabinet secretary, who is also the chairman of the government forum following anti-Semitism worldwide, is about to present the U.N. commission on human rights with a complaint about the Palestinian Authority decision." "The decision is in essence racist and reeks of anti-Semitism," it added.

Palestinian President Yasser Arafat said in an interview published Wednesday that he backed the recent decision to enforce an old Jordanian law in the West Bank imposing the death penalty for land sales to Jews. "We are talking about isolated traitors," Arafat told the Yediot Ahronot newspaper. "And we will impose against them what is on the law books. That is our right and our obligation to protect our land."

Israel has linked the ban on land sales with the recent killings of two Palestinian land dealers found dead in the West Bank. The Authority, which says the law is applied by the courts and not vigilantes, has denied any involvement in the killings.[REUTERS]

Arafat: "Israeli Independence Day is Palestine Holocaust Day"

Chairman of the Palestinian Authority Yassir Arafat said yesterday in the weekly session of the Palestinian Authority's Assembly in Ramallah that the 15th of May (the day the state of Israel was proclaimed) is The Palestine Holocaust Memorial Day. Arafat said: "On this day the sons of our nation must be firm in their determination to continue the conflict, the struggle and attach themselves to the land, in order to restore their national rights, which are inalienable, and first and foremost among them the Right of Return, the Right to Proclaim their Independence and establish a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.

Arafat went on to say that on this sad day on which, in his words, the Palestinian people were subjected to the ugliest Holocaust in history, and so all Palestinian forces must carry on in the march of victory, in spite of difficulties and challenges placed by the Israeli government against the peace process....Haaretz , May11 1997) [Reported by Dr. Steven E. Plaut]


"In the permanent settlement we will not agree to leave even one settler in the West Bank, Gaza, or Jerusalem. We will not agree on less than an independent Palestinian state with its capital in holy Jerusalem" said Palestinian Authority head of planning and international co-operation Dr. Nabil Sha'ath in a special interview published today in the Al Hayyat al-Jadeeda newspaper.

Nabil Sha'ath said that Israel is persisting in her settlement policy, and the Palestinians will not return to negotiations "whatever happens." A return to negotiations will take place only when settlement and building on Har Homa stop. He said: "Failure to fulfill this condition will mean that we will not come back to the negotiating table and will lead to deterioration to an incomparably dangerous situation."

He also called on the Palestinian people to stand united with the Palestinian Authority and to fight against the 'Judaization of Jerusalem'. {GLOBES 5/21/97}

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