An Israeli-Arab lawyer named Hossam Yunis, who works for the Palestinian Authority, is expected to receive thousands of sensitive documents on various land purchase transactions in Judea and Samaria involving Arab land brokers and Jewish buyers, Makor Rishon reported Friday (כך מסייעת ישראל בעקיפין לרש”פ לצוד מוכרי קרקעות ליהודים). These documents could endanger the safety of the Arab brokers and sellers mentioned in them, and as a result of their disclosure, these brokers could end up inside the PA’s interrogation dungeons.
The Palestinian Authority respects no boundaries, ethical or legal, in its war on its residents who sell their lands to Jews in Judea and Samaria, writes Makor Rishon’s Assaf Gibor. Selling land to Jews is punishable by death in the PA, and in 2010, according to the AP, a PA court sentenced to death an Arab who sold land to Jewish buyers.
In order to thwart transactions that have already been lawfully concluded and signed, the PA’s security apparatus locates and arrests sellers in Judea and Samaria, tortures them, and forces them to declare that the transactions were forged and thus bring about their cancellation. This way they not only frustrate the purchases that have already been made but also create a real deterrent against landowners and brokers, lest they engage in similar transactions.
According to Gibor, in 2013, a resident of the village of Ein Yabrud named Abu Yaakob sold a plot of land in the area of Amona near Ofra. Shortly after the sale—to an Arab in-between buyer—Abu Yaakob was arrested and taken to a PA security facility. He was interrogated there under torture, and it was made clear to him that if he wanted to be set free he must get the sale transaction canceled and claim that it was a forgery. Abu Yaakob was then taken to a meeting with attorney Hossam Yunis where signed over a power of attorney authorizing Yunis to represent him in court. Abu Yaakob was released as promised, but a few months later he was rushed to a Ramallah hospital where he died following a failed treatment of a kidney problem.
The Jerusalem District Court accepted Abu Yaakob’s affidavit, which had been given after his torture in a PA dungeon. One year later, Yunis petitioned the court, based on Abu Yaakob’s and other testimonies and affidavits, requesting an investigation into forgeries of many transactions real estate, listing the names of landowners and straw men who were allegedly involved in them.
Yunis demands to receive possession of court documents regarding these landowners and sellers, claiming they are a cabal of forgers and thieves. Should the Israeli court believe him and grant his petition, these people, whose land sales have long since been sanctioned legally by the court, could fall prey to the PA thugs.
Before his death, Abu-Ya’akob confessed to the people who had purchased the land from him about the way the Palestinian Authority coerced him to sign the affidavit that led to the cancellation of the deal. Makor Rishon obtained the content of the confession in which Abu-Ya’akob revealed the PA’s brutal actions and apologizes to the buyers for the damage he caused them. In the confession, he singles out attorney Yunis as the man who represented him in court with a false claim.
Makor Rishon cites a testimony Yunis gave a police investigator in June 2015, in which he confirmed that the Palestinian Authority hires his services, and even stated the amount of his monthly salary: NIS 25,000 plus VAT. The money is transferred to his account from the PA Ministry of Agriculture.
Abd al-Hakim Wadi, a colonel in the PA Military Intelligence, is leading the effort to interrogate and punish Arabs who sell land to Jews. His reputation, according to Gibor, is of a cruel and unrestrained man. He replaced Osama Mansour, who was arrested by PA security on suspicion of partaking in selling land to Jews. According to eyewitnesses, Mansour was thrown to his death from the rooftop of the detention building in Ramallah.