Israeli families on Tuesday entered a house purchased from an Arab on Ma’alot Ha-Prachim Street in the Muslim Quarter in Jerusalem’s Old City.
Shortly after the two families entered the home, situated near Herod’s Gate, dozens of Arabs surrounded the house and attempted to break into it, threw rocks and rioted. Police forces arrested several of the Arab rioters.
According to Palestinian sources, the house was sold to the Israelis by the land dealer Issam Aqel, a resident of Jerusalem who was arrested in October by the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) Security Service on the suspicion that he had sold land to Jews.
Land sales by Arabs to Israelis are considered treason by the PA because they supposedly threaten the founding of a future state.
Aqel, who is an American citizen, was sentenced to life in prison but was released in January under pressure from the US government. He has reportedly been transferred to the US.
PA Forges Documents
An Israeli source told TPS that the PA has attempted to present documents allegedly showing that the house was not purchased legally.
The source pointed out that the PA was contradicting itself in its actions. On one hand, it arrested and tortured Aqel for selling the house, but on the other hand, claims the house was not sold legally.
According to the source, a lawyer working for the PA was questioned by the Israeli police last week after he filed a complaint regarding the purchase of the house, during which he presented the false documents. He was questioned under the suspicion that he presented falsified documents.
The source told TPS that the document was a complete forge, or that Aqel was forced to sign it while in PA custody and under the threat of further torture.