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Who is enforcing the PA’s antisemitic land laws?

Maurice Hirsch, Adv.  |

Every year the US gives the Palestinian Authority tens of millions of dollars to support the PA Security Forces. This form of US aid is not affected by any of the provisions of US law that limit aid to the PA, either as a result of its terror rewarding “Pay-for-Slay” policy or as a result of its promotion of an investigation against Israel in the International Criminal Court.  

The EU not only supports the PA Security Forces but has also ploughed tens of millions of euros into the PA court system. 

But do the US and the EU know what is happening with their aid, or what the PA Security Forces – trained by the US or at least funded by the US – are actually doing? Does the EU know what is happening in the PA courts?

Well, one thing they are busy with is arresting and punishing Palestinians who sell land to Jews – “the enemy.” 

According to a 2014 amendment to Palestinian Authority law passed by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Government Decision with Legislative Effect (No. 20)) the maximum sentence for selling land to Jews is life imprisonment with hard labor.  

PA TV newsreader: "[PA] Chairman Mahmoud Abbas published a decision on an amendment to the Jordanian penal law and on its previous amendments in the northern districts (i.e., the West Bank). In the new amendment, he instituted life imprisonment with forced labor for the clandestine transfer, leasing or selling of lands to a hostile country or its citizens. The previous penalty for the clandestine transfer of land was temporary forced labor.  

[Official PA TV, Oct. 21, 2014] 

A recent post on a Facebook page of Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party declared that members of the PA General Intelligence are enforcing this racist law and conducted a “quality operation,” arresting a Palestinian suspected of breaching the prohibition of selling land to Jews. The severity the PA attaches to the crime was further emphasized by the nature of the arrest, which included an “armed confrontation”:  

Posted text: “In a complicated operation and long surveillance

An armed confrontation [took place] between the Palestinian [PA] General Intelligence and armed men after a special unit of the General Intelligence carried out a quality operation whose goal was arresting a man who secretly transfers lands [to Israelis] and who intended to sell real estate to settlers in Hebron. He was arrested and the special force returned unharmed.” 

[Facebook page of the Fatah Commission of Information and Culture, Aug. 14, 2022] 

The arrest came soon after Fatah Movement Revolutionary Council member Osama Al-Qawasmi issued a sharp attack on those selling “Palestinian real estate” to Jews:  

“Whoever sells, transfers, or aids in transferring Palestinian real estate, land, or structures [to Israel] betrays Allah, the homeland, and the religion, and is cursed by his people.” 

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 30, 2022]

In his statement, Al-Qawasmi added that he demands “that the relevant PA bodies impose the maximum punishment on those who dare to do this despicable act” and that “all the organizational bodies isolate them and excommunicate them popularly, nationally, and socially, and demanded that all the families renounce them immediately so as to deter anyone thinking of doing this.” [Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 30, 2022] 

As Palestinian Media Watch has already shown here, here, here, here and here (among other times), the arrest described in the above Fatah post is not an isolated event, but rather just one instance of an open and clear PA policy.      

The US and EU argue that their aid to the PA and the PA Security Forces is designed to empower the PA to fight Palestinian terror and establish a legitimate and honest court system. While these may indeed be the goals of the aid, the truth of the matter is, that the PA is using the aid to train PA security officials to implement the PA’s racist land laws by arresting suspects for selling land to Jews who will then be persecuted (as opposed to prosecuted) in the PA’s biased legal system.