By Daniel Halper

Former Palestinian intelligence official Muhammad Abu Shahala has reportedly been sentenced to death by the Palestinian Authority for selling a Hebron home to Jews. In response, Jewish officials from the community in Hebron are calling for international officials now to get involved—in order to save Abu Shahala’s life.

“According to various news agencies, Mr. Muhammad Abu Shahala, a former intelligence agent for the Palestinian Authority, has been sentenced to death, following a hurried trial. His crime: selling property to Jews in Hebron,” David Wilder and Noam Arnon, of the Jewish community in Hebron, write in a letter addressed to Ban Ki-moon, Hillary Clinton, Benjamin Netanyahu, and other high ranking officials.

Mr. Abu Shahala reportedly confessed following torture sessions at the hands of his captors. The death sentence can be executed only following concurrence by Mahmoud Abbas, aka Abu Mazen, president of the PA. After he signs the death warrant, Abu Shahala may be killed.

It is appalling to think that property sales should be defined as a ‘capital crime’ punishable by death. The very fact that such a ‘law’ exists within the framework of the PA legal system points to a barbaric and perverse type of justice, reminiscent of practices implemented during the dark ages.

It is incumbent upon the entire international community, which views Abu Mazen and the Palestinian Authority as a viable Middle East peace partner, to publicly reject such acts of legal murder, when the ‘crime’ is nothing more than property sales. What would be the reaction to a law in the United States, England, France, or Switzerland, forbidding property sales to Jews?

According to columnist Caroline Glick, ( this law has long been a part of the Palestinian Authority: “The PA was established in May 1994. The first law it adopted defined selling land to Jews as a capital offense. Shortly thereafter scores of Arab land sellers began turning up dead in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria in both judicial and extrajudicial killings.”

Finally, the Hebron Jews urge action. "We appeal to all international leaders to demand the annulment of the death warrant and pending execution of Muhammad Abu Shahala, to be followed by his immediate release from imprisonment, for he has committed no crime."

Editor's Addendum

Supreme Court Justice Beinish is a radical left Marxist. She is resigning but it appears that in the interim she is doing as much harm as she can against the Israeli Jews who live in Samaria and Judea.

Jews and Arabs sell to each other. The Jews can sell openly. Arabs can not. They face death from their own people. What has evolved has been a complicated scheme involving verbal denial and keeping contracts away from official examination so as to protect the Arab seller.

Extremely serious developments against Judea and Samaria as radical pro-Palestinian Chief High Court of Justice Judge Beinish struggles to leave "scorched earth" behind her as she retires. Amazingly:

a. the Supreme Court has just rejected the Government of Israel's policy on 50-family neighborhood of Migron and is insisting that the Government raze the entire community, in August. The date is... the 7th anniversary of the Gush Katif expulsion....

b. The Supreme Court also, a few days ago, outlawed the Jewish community's sole method, practically speaking, for buying land in Judea and Samaria. The method just outlawed by the Supreme Court, developed because a contract, if publicized, showing that an Arab had sold you land, was tantamount to sentencing that Arab to barbaric extra-judicial death as reported here.

Therefore, Jews had to discretely buy land from the many willing Arab sellers, paying the purchase price but not presenting any sale documents to the land registry so as not to expose the Arab seller in any way. The Jews would then cultivate the land for the 10 years mandated by the (just eradicated) law, and then claim 10-year-squatter's rights, as soon as more than 10 years had elapsed. At that time, the Arab seller would hasten to express in front of cameras and microphones, photogenic rage and shock at the land having been "stolen" from him, so as not to be accused of treasonable sale to Jews; however, since the law supported squatters' rights after 10 years, the Arab's "rage and shock" did not nullify the sale. It is this method which has now been blocked, using a legal tool called Tzav Shimush Mafria. This criminalizes an entire Jewish community of almost 500,000 persons, who will henceforth, barring new legislative remedies on the part of the Knesset, be incapable of buying desparately needed land in any legal way.

What is needed, as MKs Danny Danon, Zevulon Orlev and Uri Ariel say here and here is fast-track legislation, Pessach or no Pessach, to modify the laws that the Supreme Court is using, or abusing, in time to save Migron and the Jewish farmers in Judea and Samaria in general.

Daniel Halper is online Editor at the Weekly Standard. This article appeared Apr 23, 2012 in the Weekly Standard

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