JERUSALEM (JTA) – A prominent Jewish-Israeli campaigner for Palestinian rights was recorded saying that he helps Palestinian authorities find and kill Palestinians who sell land to Jews.
In the recording aired Thursday by the television program “Uvda” on Israel’s Channel 2, Ezra Nawi is heard speaking about four Palestinian real-estate sellers whom he said mistook him for a Jew interested in buying their property.
“Straight away I give their pictures and phone numbers to the Preventive Security Force,” Nawi, a far-left activist from the pro-Palestinian Taayush group, is heard saying in reference to the Palestinian Authority’s counterintelligence arm. “The Palestinian Authority catches them and kills them. But before it kills them, they get beat up a lot.”
In the Palestinian Authority, the penal code reserves capital punishment for anyone convicted of selling land to Jews. The law, which Palestinian officials defended as designed to prevent takeovers by settlers, has not been implemented in Palestinian courts, where sellers of land to Jews are usually sentenced to several years in prison. However, in recent years several Palestinian have been murdered for selling land. Their murders have remained unsolved.
Nawi was also documented obtaining information from a Palestinian who believed Nawi was a Jew interested in purchasing land. Nawi is seen saying he intends to give the information to Palestinian security officials as well. According to “Uvda,” an activist with the human rights group B’Tselem helped Nawi set up the would-be seller in a sting operation in which the seller would be arrested.
The recordings and footage were collected by right-wing activists who secretly recorded Nawi.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wrote Friday on Facebook that the report “unmasked radicals among us, whose hatred for settlements has pushed them over the edge to the point of delivering innocents for torture and execution. Those who encourage murder cannot continue to hide behind the hypocritical pretense of caring for human rights.”