PALESTINIANS LEGISLATING DEATH PENALTY FOR DISCUSSING JERUSALEM DIVISION
|Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas
December 6, 2007: the Palestinian Legislative Council is expected to pass a law that would make it illegal to make any concessions on Jerusalem.
The bill, which passed its first reading on Thursday, also defines such concessions as a crime of high treason, punishable by death.
Presented by Hamas legislator Ahmed Abu Halbiyeh, the bill is expected to pass in second and third readings in the coming days.
The PLC session was boycotted by many members of the rival Fatah faction in protest of Hamas's violent takeover of the Gaza Strip last June. But many Fatah legislators have made it clear that they too support the law, which states that Jerusalem is a Palestinian, Arab and Islamic city and that it is totally forbidden to give up or conduct negotiations about any part of the city.
The bill still requires the approval of Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, who would receive it should it pass the second and third readings.
The law would hamstring Abbas on the eve of the resumption of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations on core issues, which include the future status of Jerusalem. Hamas officials said Abbas would have no other option but to endorse the law and thus would be prevented from discussing Jerusalem if he valued his life. (Sources: Israel Insider, 06/12/2007)