US President Donald Trump's ambassador to Israel, David Friedman (pictured), on Wednesday demanded that the Palestinian Authority release an American citizen that it effectively kidnapped for selling his eastern Jerusalem property to Jews.
Issam Akel, who is a Palestinian Arab resident of Jerusalem as well as a US citizen, was "arrested" by PA security forces in October after word got out of his "crime."
Friedman tweeted that the Palestinian leadership's behavior in this case demonstrated a total lack of the kind of peaceful intentions and democratic rights that the international community expects of a future Palestinian state.
"The Pal Authority has been holding US citizen Isaam Akel in prison for ~2 months. His suspected ‘crime’? Selling land to a Jew. Akel’s incarceration is antithetical to the values of the US & to all who advocate the cause of peaceful coexistence. We demand his immediate release."
Israel is working to secure Akel's freedom. The most visible step has been to arrest the PA's "Jerusalem Governor" Adnan Ghaith (seen being taken to court in the above video), who was almost certainly involved in Akel's abduction.
Israel has also imposed a travel ban on the PA's Minister for Jerusalem, Adnan Husseini, until Akel is released.
But a senior officer in the IDF's Coordinator for Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) said that much tougher action must be taken on Akel's behalf. He suggested taking direction action against the Palestinian Authority intelligence services, and possibly even their boss, PA leader Mahmoud Abbas.