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Fatah publicly exposed, shamed and endangered an Arab “traitor” who sold land to Jews in Jerusalem

Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik  |
  • Seller’s picture was broadcast on Fatah’s TV station: “because these images and this information are important for our people, so that they will see this traitor.”

The PA has publicly exposed, shamed, and literally endangered the life of an Arab who sold land to Jews in Jerusalem. According to the PA, Palestinians who sell land to Jews are considered “traitors” and criminals. In fact, the PA has forbidden selling land to Jews by law. Anyone who tries to sell land to Jews will be sentenced to 5 years of hard labor, and someone who actually sells land to Jews will be sentenced to life in prison with hard labor, as documented by Palestinian Media Watch.

Moreover, the religious establishment of the PA has declared it “a sin” against Islam to relinquish any part of “Palestine” to Israelis - the “enemies.” “Palestine” is said to include all of the State of Israel - “a pure right of its Muslim owners,” as one Shari’ah judge has put it.

Accordingly, an Arab named Walid Ahmed Atout has now been publicly exposed by Abbas’ Fatah Movement for having sold his property in the Silwan neighborhood in East Jerusalem to Jews as well as having “sold his morals.” Reporting on this, Fatah’s TV station Awdah even broadcast footage of Atout “fleeing” and a photo of him “because these images and this information are important for our people so that they will see this traitor.”

There have been media reports about torture and extrajudicial killings of land sellers such as this in English and a more extensive report here in Hebrew.

In the broadcast, the TV host called Atout “a traitor and land transferrer” and “betrayer of the homeland.” Needless to say, after this kind of designation by the PA/Fatah, Atout’s life may very well be in danger:

[ PMW has blurred the picture so as not to futher endanger the man ]

Awdah TV host: “The other topic we have is the topic of ‘the fugitive,’ and he is the one selling his land and his homeland – and most importantly, selling his morals. Jerusalem was surprised by the news that one of the residents left his home at dawn. How can someone leave his home and move away? Walid Ahmed Atout thought differently, as he sold his home in Silwan (i.e., East Jerusalem) to the [Jewish] settler group Elad. The act of transference [of land] is carried out in Jerusalem by someone selling his home to someone else, and afterwards the second person sells it to a third person – and thus the act is carried out until in the end it is transferred to [Jewish] settler groups. To be depicted as a victim [Atout] says that he sold it to another Arab person, but in the end it was transferred [to Jews]. But his escape revealed his disgraceful act, as you can see in this video: The moment when Atout fled at dawn. (Footage is shown -Ed.) This treason that we watched with you is that of Walid Ahmed Atout – a traitor and land transferrer – and this is his picture. (A photo of Atout is shown -Ed.)

We are sorry to be displaying him on Awdah TV, but this is because these images and this information are important for our people, so that they will see this traitor and that he transferred his land. He did an injustice to himself, an injustice to his children and his wife. How will the child, the son, and this wife live with this betrayer of his land and betrayer of his homeland?”

[Facebook page of the Fatah Commission of Information and Culture, July 5, 2021; Fatah-run Awdah TV, July 5, 2021]

Similarly, one of Fatah’s branches called Atout “a traitor” and posted a photo of a Palestinian rioter throwing about to throw a rock:

Text on image: “We will defend our honor with our resolve
The one who submitted and sold [his land] for a cheap price is a traitor”

Text in bottom right corner: “Fatah Movement Commission of Information and Culture of the Southern Branches”

Text in bottom left corner: “Atout is not part of us”

Posted text: “A morning of honor and exaltedness
Raise your head, you are a Fatah Palestinian”

[Facebook page of the Fatah Movement – Hebron Branch, July 5, 2021]

A regular columnist for the official PA daily, Dr. Ramzi Oudeh, suggested three different punitive means to put an end to “the crime” of selling land to Jews. His proposed ideas were to punish also the relatives of property sellers, enlist the cooperation of international bodies to have sellers who fled the PA extradited, and socially freeze out those who sell land to Jews:

1.    “We must interrogate the relatives of those who sold their property in order to confirm how much they knew about this crime, and if this is proven, the relevant security bodies must turn them over to the legal system and expropriate their property, so that this will constitute a serious deterrent for those who are considering selling their lands to the settler Jews.”

2.    “[We must] put on trial those who sold their property and fled beyond the borders of the occupied Palestinian state’s legal jurisdiction. We must also submit international lawsuits against them and ask Interpol to summon them to stand before the Palestinian legal system.”

3.    “The families can be prevented from enjoying the social and economic benefits of interacting with society. I mean here denouncing these families and not interacting with them at the social and economic level. The religious leaders must also focus in their religious sermons on the ban on selling lands, and also the education system must raise the students’ awareness about this crime’s danger to Palestinian society.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 17, 2021]

Earlier this year, PMW reported on a similar outcry in the PA over others who had sold their houses in Silwan. Another of the official PA daily’s writers then advocated creating a “blacklist” of “collaborators” whose photos should be circulated everywhere – from municipalities to kindergartens. Fatah’s broadcast above is precisely that:

A blacklist should be created with lists of the collaborators, and it ‎should be regularly distributed as widely as possible among the people in the ‎homeland and in the diaspora each year – so that blacklists with pictures of ‎the collaborators, their birthplaces, and their previous and current places of ‎residence will be hung in the district buildings, the municipalities, the ‎councils, the villages, the schools, the [education] institutes, and the ‎universities, and even in the kindergartens, the streets, and the squares, ‎and the public should be instructed to excommunicate and isolate them, and ‎not to interact with them in any way.‎"

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 11, 2021]‎

The following is a longer excerpt of one of the reports cited above:

Excerpt of an op-ed by Dr. Ramzi Oudeh, regular columnist for the official PA daily

Headline: “What is required: Both deterrence and punishment”
“In this article I call for the need to carry out resistance against the crime of selling real estate [to Jews], which is anticipated to increase in the coming years, and I call this activity ‘resistance’ because I mean that we must act on all the fronts and levels in order to put an end to this crime, and not just to curb and reduce it.

As part of this, I propose three levels for this resistance:

First, legal resistance at the local level:

This requires developing a national system of laws to deal with the crime of selling lands. In this context, I propose – in addition to punishing those involved in the act of selling… [that] we must interrogate the relatives of those who sold their property in order to confirm how much they knew about this crime, and if this is proven, the relevant security bodies must turn them over to the legal system and expropriate their property, so that this will constitute a serious deterrent for those who are considering selling their lands to the settler Jews.

Secondly, legal resistance on the international level:

We must establish a national network comprised of governmental and security institutions and the relevant civil society institutions in order to put on trial those who sold their property and fled beyond the borders of the occupied Palestinian state’s legal jurisdiction. We must also submit international lawsuits against them and ask Interpol to summon them to stand before the Palestinian legal system.

Thirdly, social popular resistance:

I think that this kind of popular resistance to the crime of selling property constitutes one of the most important kinds of resistance. This is because it has the greatest capability of curbing this phenomenon socially and tribally and of defining it as a severe betrayal of the society. As part of this, the families involved in selling can have the tribal protection denied to them, and the families can be prevented from enjoying the social and economic benefits of interacting with society. I mean here denouncing these families and not interacting with them at the social and economic level. The religious leaders must also focus in their religious sermons on the ban on selling lands, and also the education system must raise the students’ awareness about this crime’s danger to Palestinian society. Here we remind our dear readers that the fact that the [Arab] residents of Jerusalem do not pray for the dead who are involved in selling their property and do not bury them in Islamic cemeteries constitutes a kind of important and effective popular resistance against the phenomenon of selling property, but this must be expanded to include the first-degree relatives of those involved, particularly if it becomes clear that they knew about this crime.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 17, 2021]

Silwan is a predominantly Arab neighborhood near the Old City of Jerusalem, built above ruins of ancient Jerusalem.

Elad is an Israeli NGO promoting and actively working to settle Jews in East Jerusalem.