Palestinian Official Reportedly Jumps to His Death

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- A senior Palestinian Authority official arrested three weeks ago for collaborating with Israel died after falling from the third floor of a building in Ramallah.

Osama Hussein Mansour, 49, reportedly jumped from the third-floor headquarters of the P.A. Military Intelligence service on Sunday, where he was being interrogated for selling land to Jews, a crime that carries the death penalty under the P.A.

"We discovered that the man who was responsible for thwarting such land deals was himself involved in such transactions," an unnamed P.A. security source told Jerusalem Post Palestinian Affairs correspondent Khaled Abu Toameh.

According to the report, Mansour leaped to his death as he was being taken to the Palestinian Military Prosecution in Ramallah.

In April, the P.A. sentenced former intelligence officer Muhammad Abu Shahala to death for his alleged involvement in the sale of a home to Jewish families across the Machpelah (Cave of the Patriarchs) in Hebron.

Political analyst Caroline Glick said the P.A. has had the law on its books since 1994.

"The P.A. was established in May 1994. The first law it adopted defined selling land to Jews as a capital offense. Shortly thereafter scores of Arab land sellers began turning up dead in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria [the West Bank] in both judicial and extra-judicial killings," Glick said.

The P.A. said it is investigating the incident.

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