A murder investigation in Israel is focusing on claims that the victim was an intermediary in the sales of land to Jews.

Breaking Israel News reports police believe Ahmed Salameh, 51, of the Arab Israeli town of Jaliulia in central Israel, was killed because of his business clients.

WND reported in January that Palestinian authorities arrested four people for the capital offense of selling Palestinian land to Jews, even though the deals were aborted.

The Ma’an news agency reported the Palestinian Authority’s General Intelligence Service, after a lengthy investigation, arrested four Arab real-estate brokers thought to have tried to “divert land to the occupation.”

Breaking Israel News commented the laws governing such transactions are “the most racist laws on the books anywhere on the planet.”

The BIN report on the homicide case explained Salameh had acquired Israeli residency rights through his marriage to an Israeli Arab woman. He was shot and killed by unidentified assailants who confronted him at close range.

He was pronounced dead at Meir Hospital, the report said.

Police immediately launched an investigation and requested a gag order.

But media reports in the Palestinian Authority said Salameh was wanted by Palestinian Authority security services for his involvement in land sales to Jews, BIN said, a capital offense.

The report said Salameh had posted a video online explaining he was prepared to purchase lands adjacent to the fence, “anywhere and in any area.”

Muhammad Abu Shahala, a former PA officer, was sentenced to death in 2012 for selling land to Jews. But the Jewish community of Hebron then asked for help from the United Nations, the United States and the Israeli government to step in on his behalf.

“‘Palestinian land laws’ cover the ownership of land under the Palestinian Authority,” BIN reported at the time. “These laws prohibit PA Arabs from selling Arab-owned lands to ‘any man or judicial body corporation of Israeli citizenship, living in Israel or acting on its behalf.'”

The report explained that such transactions are “considered treason,” because they encourage “the spread of moral, political and security corruption.”

BIN reported the death sentences may be handed down but “have only rarely been carried out.”

The four arrested were accused of trying to sell land in Jerusalem and other areas.

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