[Ed. – In the view of Muslims, the punishment fits the crime. Meantime, this guy is an American citizen. Will the president step in?]
A Palestinian court in Ramallah sentenced a Palestinian-American to life in prison with hard labor on Monday, after finding him guilty of selling a house in the Old City of Jerusalem to a Jewish Israeli organization.
The man was identified as Issam Akel, a resident of east Jerusalem, who was arrested by Palestinian Authority security forces in October.
The story of the incarceration of the 53-year-old Akel, a US citizen, was first reported by The Jerusalem Post earlier this year.
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The Palestinian Grand Criminal Court found Akel guilty of “attempting to cut off a part of the Palestinian land and adding them to a foreign country.”
The verdict was issued after a one-week trial.
Akel worked for one of the PA ministries and a hospital in east Jerusalem, according to Palestinian sources.
It remains unclear how he was arrested by PA security forces. As a resident of east Jerusalem, he holds an Israeli ID card that gives him immunity against being arrested or prosecuted in a PA court.
Some reports said that Akel was arrested while he was staying in Ramallah. Other reports, however, claimed that he had been kidnapped from east Jerusalem and taken to Ramallah.