(November 22, 2018 / JNS) Despite an Israeli law banning the Palestinian Authority from engaging in political and diplomatic activities in Jerusalem and other areas of sovereign Israel, a Fatah spokesperson said on Thursday that leader Mahmoud Abbas is intensifying efforts to target eastern Jerusalem Arabs who are suspected of selling properties to Israeli Jews.
According to Osama Qawassmeh, P.A. security forces have arrested Isam Aqel, an American Palestinian man in eastern Jerusalem, on suspicion of assisting in the sale of an Arab-owned house in the Old City of Jerusalem to Israeli Jews.
After Aqel’s family notified the U.S. State Department, Israel arrested two senior P.A. officials—Adnan Geith, P.A. “governor” of Jerusalem, and Jihad Faqeeh, commander of P.A. General Intelligence Services in the Jerusalem area—for their involvement in Aqel’s arrest.
Qawassmeh told Al-Watan Voice news that Aqel, who was arrested a month ago, is considered one of the biggest real estate agents from eastern Jerusalem involved in helping Arabs make connections with Israeli Jews who want to buy properties.
According to Qawassmeh, the P.A. security forces will ramp up the targeting of Palestinians who are suspected of performing real estate transactions with Israeli Jews, especially in eastern Jerusalem.