On Tuesday, the official PA news agency Wafa cited an order of the Ramallah government that “Palestinians with Israeli citizenship need to have permission before they can rent in the West Bank,” adding that “this procedure is intended for organizational purposes only and it should not take more than two weeks to give an answer after an application is submitted.”
Wafa also noted that the cabinet did not offer any more details, other than promise that “it is intended to protect the public interest.” The cabinet announcement also said: “Palestinians from occupied East Jerusalem who have Israeli residency but not citizenship since Israel has annexed the city after its occupation in 1967 are exempt from this procedure.”
On Thursday, Regavim exposed the actual document, signed by PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, which stipulates that permits for rental or purchase of property will be issued contingent on the approval of the Palestinian Security Service.
Obviously, this new regulation is intended to prevent the purchase of buildings and other real estate properties in eastern Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria by Jews. As you probably already know, the sale of Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria real estate to Jews is punishable by death in the Palestinian Authority, and so these transactions are often carried out through third parties.
“Anyone interested in renting or selling a property to a Palestinian who holds an Israeli identification card must submit an application for approval of the transaction to the local authority with jurisdiction over the area in question,” reads the executive order. “If the property is located outside the jurisdiction of the local municipal authority, approval for the transaction must be obtained from the local authority’s directorate.”
According to the new directive, “the [PA] General Intelligence Service and the Preventive Security Force will conduct the necessary security checks and will submit their recommendation within two weeks of receipt of the permit application.”
Hamdallah’s new directive further states that the decisions of the security apparatus are final and not subject to review or appeal, and “any objections or decisions contrary to this decision are null and void.”
Yishai Hemo, Regavim’s Field Coordinator for Judea and Samaria, which alerted the media to the existence of this apartheid law, said in a statement: “Recently there has been a significant increase in the severity of the tactics employed by the Palestinian Authority regarding the sale of property to Jews, including a life sentence with hard labor to Issam ‘Akel, a resident of Israel and an American citizen, who was charged with selling a house to Jews in East Jerusalem, and the murder of a real estate broker from Jaljuliya – an unsolved murder that bears unmistakable fingerprints leading back to the Palestinian Authority.”
“There is no other place in the world that has legislated a death sentence for the ‘crime’ of selling property to Jews,” Hemo added. “The Israeli government must take action, and use all the tools at its disposal to stop this deterioration. There is a moral imperative at stake: we cannot accept this sort of racism. But beyond the underlying moral issue, Israel must respond by removing the self-imposed obstacles that currently exist, and allow any and every citizen of Israel to buy and sell property, as they can throughout the rest of Israel and the world.”