The Palestinian Authority Cracks Down on Sales of Land to Jews in Jerusalem

Oct. 25 2018

Earlier this month, agents of Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah faction apprehended a Palestinian businessman named Khaled al-Atari and subjected him to a violent interrogation; he is currently in hiding. Atari’s crime? He had purchased a three-story house in east Jerusalem from an Arab family and then sold it to a group of Jews for $17 million—in violation of a Palestinian Authority (PA) law forbidding any sale of property to Jews. Atari’s apprehension, writes Yoni Ben Menachem, is part of a larger PA crackdown on land sales in eastern Jerusalem; it is also a violation of the Oslo Accords:

On October 20, 2018, the Jerusalem police and the Shin Bet apprehended Adnan Gheith, the PA’s Jerusalem governor, and Jihad al-Faqih, director of the PA’s intelligence office in eastern Jerusalem. . . . They were arrested on suspicion of abducting [an Arab resident of Jerusalem], a realtor . . . whom they suspected of selling a property in the area of Herod’s Gate in the Old City. The realtor is an Israeli citizen who also holds a U.S. passport. According to Palestinian sources, he is still incarcerated in an interrogation cell of the PA General Intelligence Service in Ramallah.

His family has submitted a complaint to the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem regarding his arrest, but according to sources in Fatah, . . . Abbas has instructed that the realtor should not be released from custody. [Moreover], he wants to create a policy of deterrence against the sellers of land and property to Jews in the Old City, and he is looking [to make an example of someone].

According to the Oslo Accords, the Palestinian security forces are not allowed to operate in east Jerusalem. However, the PA has been openly violating [this aspect of the agreement]. As a result, the PA security forces have been playing a game of cat-and-mouse with the Israeli police and the Shin Bet. Residents of eastern Jerusalem relate that during 2018, after President Trump officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the PA security forces stepped up their operations in the area. They are threatening residents on a daily basis and summon them to interrogations in the offices of the [PA’s] Jerusalem district governor. . . .

[T]he abduction of an Israeli citizen with U.S. citizenship is extremely serious. . . . This type of incident has not occurred in Jerusalem for many years. . . . It is time for Israel to take a strong stand against the Palestinian security services, who are violating the Oslo Accords in east Jerusalem to strengthen Abbas’s position.

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Read more at Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

More about: East Jerusalem, Israel & Zionism, Mahmoud Abbas, Oslo Accords, Palestinian Authority

How the Death of Mahsa Amini Changed Iran—and Its Western Apologists

Sept. 28 2022

On September 16, a twenty-two-year-old named Mahsa Amini was arrested by the Iranian morality police for improperly wearing a hijab. Her death in custody three days later, evidently after being severely beaten, sparked waves of intense protests throughout the country. Since then, the Iranian authorities have killed dozens more in trying to quell the unrest. Nervana Mahmoud comments on how Amini’s death has been felt inside and outside of the Islamic Republic:

[I]n Western countries, the glamorizing of the hijab has been going on for decades. Even Playboy magazine published an article about the first “hijabi” news anchor in American TV history. Meanwhile, questioning the hijab’s authenticity and enforcement has been framed as “Islamophobia.” . . . But the death of Mahsa Amini has changed everything.

Commentators who downplayed the impact of enforced hijab have changed their tune. [Last week], CNN’s Christiane Amanpour declined an interview with the Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi, and the Biden administration imposed sanctions on Iran’s notorious morality police and senior officials for the violence carried out against protesters and for the death of Mahsa Amini.

The visual impact of the scenes in Iran has extended to the Arab world too. Arabic media outlets have felt the winds of change. The death of Mahsa Amini and the resulting protests in Iran are now top headlines, with Arab audiences watching daily as Iranian women from all age groups remove their hijabs and challenge the regime policy.

Iranian women are making history. They are teaching the world—including the Muslim world—about the glaring difference between opting to wear the hijab and being forced to wear it, whether by law or due to social pressure and mental bullying. Finally, non-hijabi women are not afraid to defy, proudly, their Islamist oppressors.

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Read more at Nervana

More about: Arab World, Iran, Women in Islam