Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan instructed police this afternoon to close down a conference organized by PA officials that was to be held this afternoon at the Saint George Hotel in central Jerusalem, 0404 reported.
According to the report, the PA conference was to have dealt with the topic of Muslim and Christian-owned property sales to Jews.
Under Palestinian Authority (PA) law, selling of land to Jews is criminal and punishable by death. However, such sentences must be approved by the PA chairman, and current chairman Mahmoud Abbas has preferred to authorize life sentences for such offenses, possibly wary of an international backlash.
In 2014, Abbas toughened the PA law against selling property to Israeli Jews, so that any Palestinian Arabs involved in renting, selling or facilitating real estate transactions with citizens of "hostile countries" in any way would receive life imprisonment and hard-labor.
Erdan issued the order forbidding the conference to take place in accordance with section 3(a) of the Law for Implementing the Interim Agreement Regarding the West Bank and Gaza Strip (1994), which prohibits the PA from carrying out unauthorized activity within the State of Israel, and which authorizes the Public Security Minister to issue orders to prevent any such activity. Within the framework of signed Israel-PA agreements, Israel retains exclusive authority and jurisdiction in Jerusalem.
Subsequently, police arrived at the hotel and issued the order, verifying that the event did not take place.
Over the last two years, Public Security Minister Erdan has issued a number of orders to prevent PA activity in areas under Israel's exclusive authority. These included an extension of the order closing the Orient House, which served as a base for PA activity in Jerusalem.
Following the prevention of the event, Minister Erdan said according to 0404, “The PA activity against Jewish settlement in eastern Jerusalem is part of a program to damage our sovereignty in all of Jerusalem, and even to terrorize Arabs who would sell real estate to Jews in the city. I will continue to act forcefully to prevent any political infringement by the Palestinian Arabs in Jerusalem.”