LETTER FROM COORDINATORS OF ISRAELI NEGOTIATING TEAM TO DR. SAEB ERAKAT REGARDING STATEMENTS AND ACTION ON SALE OF LAND TO ISRAELIS

(Communicated by Government Secretary)
June 3, 1997

We have followed, with increasing concern, the recent statements and acts emanating from members of the Executive Authority of the Palestinian Council regarding the sale of land by Palestinians to Israelis and, as such, feel the necessity to respond in a clear and forthright manner.

The above mentioned statements have included reference to the prohibitions and restrictions which will be imposed upon such sales in addition to the various punishments and penalties that will be incurred by Palestinians engaging in the sale of land to Israelis. In certain cases it has even been stated by high-ranking Palestinian officials that the death penalty would be imposed on the perpetrators of such "offenses", which have been deemed "treasonous."

Furthermore, as you are no doubt well aware, land dealers from Jerusalem and Ramallah have been recently assassinated. These callous murders have not been condemned by officials on the Palestinian side. On the contrary, statements made by such officials, both before and after the execution of these heinous acts, have conveyed the message that such crimes are to be commended.

We regard such statements and acts, as well as the underlying policy that they reveal, as totally unacceptable. It is particularly grave and serious that such statements have been made by the very individuals entrusted with the implementation of law and justice. Such statements and acts represent a flagrant violation of both the spirit and the letter of the Interim Agreement and stand in blatant contradiction to the principles of peace, trust and cooperation which underlie the entire peace process.

We emphatically demand that the Palestinian Council and its Executive Authority fulfill their obligation and undertaking under the peace agreements to immediately and effectively cease all such acts of incitement and call upon you to take all appropriate steps against anyone involved in the perpetration of such hostile acts, in accordance with the principle of the rule of law.

It is in the mutual interest of both parties to contribute to the calming of the current climate. We should accordingly invest all our efforts in the avoidance of any acts that may result in the deterioration of the already sensitive situation.

Dan Naveh and Jacob Bardugo Coordinators of the Israeli Negotiating Team