(JNS) U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman took to Twitter this week to call for the immediate release of a Palestinian-American who was imprisoned by the Palestinian Authority for engaging in a real estate transaction in eastern Jerusalem with Jews.
The abduction of 55-year-old Issam Akel took place approximately two months ago, and his family urgently contacted the United States for help in securing his safe release.
“The Pal. Authority has been holding U.S. citizen Issam Akel in prison for ~2 months,” wrote Friedman on Twitter. “His suspected ‘crime’? Selling land to a Jew. Akel’s incarceration is antithetical to the values of the U.S. & to all who advocate the cause of peaceful coexistence. We demand his immediate release.”
Selling land to Jews is illegal in the Palestinian Authority, and is punishable by the death penalty.