JERUSALEM (JTA) — A Palestinian-American man sentenced by a Palestinian Authority court to life in prison for selling land in eastern Jerusalem to a Jewish Israeli was transferred to the United States.
Issam Akel, of Bethlehem, was handed over to American authorities in the aftermath of a secret deal signed between the P.A. and U.S. officials, Israel’s Kan national broadcaster reported Thursday evening.
Akel, who had worked for the Palestinian Authority, is accused of being a middleman between the Palestinian owner of the home located in the Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City and the Jewish organization that purchased it.
He lived in the United States for 12 years. As an eastern Jerusalem resident, Akel also holds a blue Israeli identification card. His four siblings and their families continue to reside in the United States.