A Palestinian American citizen’s family reached out to the U.S. State Department for help after being arrested by Palestinian Authority security forces for his role in selling an Arab-owned house in the Old City of Jerusalem to Jews.

According to a report by The Jerusalem Post, the man, a 55-year-old resident of Bethlehem who had worked for the P.A. Ministry for Local Government, was charged by the P.A. of facilitating an arrangement between the Arab owner of a house who wished to sell and a Jewish organization that wanted to buy.

No comment has been issued by the Palestinian Authority.

The accused man is said to have received a $25,000 commission for his role in the sale between an Arab widow in the Muslim Quarter and the Jewish organization.

A fatwa (religious edict) was issued by Palestinian Islamic religious authorities last week accusing any Arab who sold land to Jews of “high treason,” saying “the land of Palestine was an inalienable religious endowment that cannot be sold” to non-Muslims.