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Parent Article: BU Palestine Culture Awareness March
Hidden with code "Duplicate post"
Palestine Culture Awareness includes knowing the arabs kill those that sell land to Jews
17 Apr 2006
Last Thursday morning Palestinian police found the burned body of Muhammad Abu al-Hawa in his torched car in Jericho. He had been shot seven times in the head and chest, had been “brutally tortured before his car was set on fire.” Al-Hawa, a father of eight from the Arab A-Tur neighborhood on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, had been accused of something that has long been a capital offense in the Palestinian Authority—selling a residence, in this case his four-story apartment building, to Jews. Taking the claim for the impromptu “justice” were gunmen from Fatah. It is not clear whether they abducted al-Hawa to Jericho or found him there.

“In 1995, the Palestinian Legislative Council voted unanimously in favor of the death sentence for land brokers who sell land to Jews.” That same year “the PA mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Ikremah Sabri, announced a fatwa . . . authorizing the killing of any Arab who sells property to Jews. The fatwa also forbids Muslims from burying the perpetrators in Muslim cemeteries.”

At least seven Arabs were kidnapped and murdered on suspicion that they had been involved in real estate transactions with Jews. In a report published on Sunday, “dozens of suspected [PA] land dealers have been murdered over the past years after being accused of [that same transgression].”

In al-Hawa’s case, he was thought to have sold his building in A-Tur to Elad, a nonprofit organization that buys East Jerusalem homes for Jewish families and companies. Elad recently bought two other A-Tur residences from Arabs as well. The Mount of Olives, where A-Tur is located, is the site of a Jewish cemetery going back to ancient times and overlooks the Temple Mount and the Old City of Jerusalem.

Police officials say the buildings were purchased legally and there was no legal obstruction to their occupation, the local Arabs’ reaction to Jews moving into the neighborhood has not been positive. “Over the past few weeks residents have clashed repeatedly with the police and members of a private security firm hired to guard the apartments. . . . Earlier this month, dozens of protesters torched a restaurant owned by a member of the [al-Hawa] clan in the neighborhood.”

Immediately after the deal became public, some members of the Abu al-Hawa clan were either kidnapped or summoned by PA security forces to Ramallah and Jericho for questioning.

Some reports also say al-Hawa claimed he was hoodwinked into the sale by Arab businessmen and did not know the real buyers were Jews. The family published ads to this effect in Arab newspapers in an effort to “clear” their name.

It didn’t help. Toameh’s follow-up article, “Neighbors block burial of man killed for selling home to Jews,” informs us that on Friday morning A-Tur residents—consistent with Sheikh Ikremah Sabri’s fatwa—“prevented the burial of Muhammad Abu al-Hawa . . . in a local cemetery. The victim’s family was eventually forced to bury him in a makeshift cemetery on the road between Jerusalem and Jericho.”

Notable in this story is the absence of any involvement—except possibly in the interrogation in Ramallah or Jericho of Abu al-Hawa and/or his relatives—by Hamas. The law forbidding land sales to Jews on pain of death was ratified back in 1995 when the PA was thoroughly under Fatah rule and a Hamas takeover still seemed a fantasy. Sheikh Ikremah Sabri is not affiliated with Hamas but with the older, pre-Hamas PA. The murders of PA Arabs accused of real estate transactions with Jews began in 1996. The gunmen who tortured, shot, and burned Muhammad Abu al-Hawa last week were from Fatah. The A-Tur residents who torched a restaurant and later blocked his burial had no particular Hamas connection.