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Right-wing Israelis Offer Aid to Arabs Who Sell Land to Jews

Right-wing Knesset members and Jewish settlers have launched a hot line to help Palestinians who have sold property to Jews.

The move came last week in the wake of a Palestinian Authority declaration that such sales were offenses punishable by death.

The bodies of two Arab land dealers suspected of selling land to Jews were found in Ramallah earlier this month.

While Palestinian officials have denied any involvement in the killings, Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat has justified the death penalty, saying Palestinians who sold land to Jews were traitors.

Palestinian security forces have arrested four residents of Hebron and two residents of villages in the Hebron area on suspicion of selling land to Jews, Khaled Al-Kidra, the Palestinian Authority attorney general, said last week.

A spokesman for the Council of Jewish Communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza said the line was intended to help Arabs who felt threatened, and who sought financial assistance or physical protection.

The spokesman, Yechiel Leiter, told Israel Radio that some Arabs had turned informally to Jewish settlers for help.

He said that all information would be passed on to Israeli security forces.

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