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Land sale to Jews sparks arrests, criminal counts

Full moon over Jerusalem, Israel

Only days ago, the grand mufti of Jerusalem declared that Muslims are the rightful owners of the land of Israel forever.

Anyone who would give up the land is “an infidel and a traitor to Allah,” said Sheik Muhammad Hussein, according to the Middle East Media Research Institute.

Now the Palestinian Authority is enforcing that edict, according to Palestinian Media Watch.

PMW’s Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik report that “in cooperation with the PA’s General Prosecution, the PA’s Preventive Intelligence Force ‘succeeded in thwarting a deal for the illegal transfer of land’ and arrested those involved.”

Names and other details of those arrested for trying to sell a parcel apparently of about eight acres were not released.

The official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida said the PA Preventive Intelligence Force “succeeded – through security cooperation, relying on intelligence information, surveillance on the ground, and intensive monitoring, and in legal coordination with the [PA] General Prosecution – in thwarting a deal for the illegal transfer of land (i.e., to Israelis/Jews) in the Hebron district.”

“The Force succeeded in arresting those involved … and they were transferred to the legal system for the completion of the legal steps against them.”

PMW said the mufti “emphasized the gravity of the sin of transferring land to non-Muslims a few months ago, explaining that it constitutes ‘heresy.'”

“He made it clear that anyone guilty of such a land transfer is seen by Allah as similar to someone ‘who fight[s] Muslims because of their religion.’ Such a person is considered a ‘traitor’ who has ‘left Islam’ and should be ‘banished’ and ‘excommunicated’ – no one should ‘do business with him, marry him, or demonstrate friendliness to him,’ and no one should ‘participate in his funeral, pray for him, or bury him in Muslim cemeteries.'”

The Muslim leader said at the time: “The basis is that Palestine is kharaj (i.e., taxable land in Islam) and waqf (i.e., an inalienable religious endowment in Islamic law) land, and it is forbidden by religious law to sell its lands and transfer them to the enemies’ ownership… The transfer of ownership of territory of Islam (dar Al-Islam) to enemies is invalid, and constitutes treason against Supreme Allah and his Prophet [Muhammad] … Anyone who sells his land to his enemies or receives compensation for it is sinning, because anyone that sells land to enemies is facilitating the removal of Muslims from their lands, and Blessed and Supreme Allah equates him to those who fight Muslims because of their religion.”

He continued: “The selling of lands to enemies and negotiation [to sell] to them are heresy through actions, and considered loyalty to infidels who are fighting [Muslims]. This loyalty [to infidels] leads to banishment from the nation.”


On Sept. 3, the website of Dar Al-Ifta Palestine, the Palestinian fatwa institution, published an official statement by Hussein in which he “reiterated the fatwas banning both selling Palestinian land to ‘the enemies’ and accepting compensation for land appropriated by Israel.”