Jan 18, 2021
JERUSALEM WEATHER

Palestinian Authority law prohibits the sale of land to Israelis/Jews. Palestinian Media Watch reported that PA Chairman Abbas himself issued the decision in 2014 that orders “life imprisonment with forced labor for the clandestine transfer, leasing or selling of lands to a hostile country or its citizens.”

In addition, Palestinians also portray selling land to Israelis as a religious transgression. A regular Christian columnist for the official PA daily, Muwaffaq Matar, wrote that “Christian Palestinians understood the danger of Judaization”  and “therefore,they view the sale of Palestinian lands to the Israeli racist colonialist occupiers and settlers as a betrayal of Jesus.” It seems that the columnist believes there is Christian holiness to all the land of Israel that is defiled when any land is sold to Jews:

“The Christian Palestinians understood the danger of Judaization to their existence and to their holy sites… They also know that the Zionist plot is not limited only to Judaizing the holy sites of the Muslim Palestinians…
Therefore, they view the sale of Palestinian lands to the Israeli racist colonialist occupiers and settlers as a betrayal of Jesus. They think that whoever does this… is not eligible to represent the church or any Christian citizen in Palestine.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Dec. 27, 2020]

Similarly, Muslim Palestinians see all the land of Israel as Islamic holy land and so the PA’s Grand Mufti and the Fatwa Council have warned that such sales are not only against PA law but also against Islamic law: “Anyone selling Palestinian real estate to the enemy [is] a traitor to Allah and His Messenger, as well as to his religion and homeland” [Official PA TV, Oct. 23, 2014]

The Grand Mufti repeated this in 2020 at a conference titled The Deal of the Century and Giving Lands to the Enemy From a Religious Perspective, stating that “the land” is “the property the Islamic nation.” He further instructed that anyone selling land to “the enemy” should be ostracized and warned that such a person won’t be buried in a Muslim cemetery:

“Regarding the sale of lands and giving them to the enemy, the [PA Grand Mufti] Sheikh Hussein said that it is forbidden to sell lands to the occupation or to facilitate the processes of this purchase through mediators and the like, since this land is an Islamic waqf (i.e., an inalienable religious endowment in Islamic law) and the property of the [Islamic] nation, and therefore it is forbidden to transfer it to the enemy because this will lead to the eviction of the Muslims from their land. He explained that whoever sells [land] and of whom this is proven – it is forbidden to deal with him in buying or selling, and if he dies, he will not be purified and will not be buried in the Muslims’ cemeteries.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, March 6, 2020]

PA law states that whoever tries to sell land to Jews will be sentenced to 5 years of hard labor, and someone who actually sells land to Jews will be punished with a life sentence with hard labor. PA officials have even instructed PA police to “take the firmest steps against anyone who is proven to have secretly sold or transferred lands to the occupation, or to have collaborated in the matter.” [Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Feb. 19, 2020]

The following are longer excerpts of the statements cited above:

Excerpt of an op-ed by Muwaffaq Matar, Fatah Revolutionary Council member and regular columnist for the official PA daily

Headline: “Christmas – the human spiritual nationalism”
Jesus, peace be upon him, is a Palestinian who was born in Bethlehem, and during his life he preached for love and peace between the people in his homeland. He was crucified and then resurrected on the land of Jerusalem, Allah’s city. Bethlehem, Jesus’ birthplace, and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, Palestine’s eternal capital, will both continue to exist as long as the sky is blue during the daytime…
The Christian Palestinians have understood the danger of Judaization to their existence and to their holy sites… They also know that the Zionist plot is not limited only to Judaizing the holy sites of the Muslim Palestinians…
Therefore, they view the sale of Palestinian lands to the Israeli racist colonialist occupiers and settlers as a betrayal of Jesus. They think that whoever does this… is not eligible to represent the church or any Christian citizen in Palestine.

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Dec. 27, 2020]

Headline: “A conference in Salfit titled The Deal of the Century and Giving Lands to the Enemy From a Religious Perspective”
“The Salfit district held a conference yesterday [March 5, 2020] at the district headquarters titled The Deal of the Century and Giving Lands to the Enemy From a Religious Perspective (i.e., “the deal of the century” refers to US President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace plan; see note below), in the presence of [Salfit] District Governor Dr. Abdallah Kmeil and the [PA] Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and the Palestinian Territories [and Palestinian Supreme Fatwa Council Chairman] Sheikh Muhammad Hussein

The grand mufti read a statement that he issued last month [February], which includes fatwa (religious ruling) that bans working to cooperate with the deal of the century and its disseminators who will be pursued by a curse until Judgment Day, in his words. Regarding the sale of lands and giving them to the enemy, Sheikh Hussein said that it is forbidden to sell lands to the occupation or to facilitate the processes of this purchase through mediators and the like, since this land is an Islamic waqf (i.e., an inalienable religious endowment in Islamic law) and the property of the [Islamic] nation, and therefore it is forbidden to transfer it to the enemy because this will lead to the eviction of the Muslims from their land. He explained that whoever sells [land] and of whom this is proven – it is forbidden to deal with him in buying or selling, and if he dies, he will not be purified and will not be buried in the Muslims’ cemeteries.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, March 6, 2020]

Muhammad Hussein also serves as Deputy Secretary-General and acting Secretary-General of the PLO Popular National Conference of Jerusalem.