Palestinian Authority policemen arrested Palestinian-Canadian investor Mohamed
Al Sabawi on Monday for “insulting” PA President Mahmoud Abbas. He was released
after being held for eight hours.
Al Sabawi, 68, was arrested from his
office in Ramallah by several armed PA policemen and taken to a police
Al Sabawi is president of the Board of Directors and director-
general of Ahlia Insurance Group, which employs hundreds of Palestinians in the
A video posted on YouTube documented Al Sabawi’s
“The PA claims my father ‘insulted’ a PA representative,” Al
Sabawi’s son, Khaled, said in a posting on Facebook. “They showed up with seven
men, armed to the teeth, at our office building and forced us to the police
station. I think he hurt Mahmoud Abbas’s feelings.”
The son, who is from
Ontario, Canada, accompanied his father to the police station. Khaled said the
arrest of his father shows that US Secretary of State John Kerry’s plan to bring
$4 billion in private investment to the Palestinian territories is
“Come and invest in the PA areas, but if you don’t bribe
their corrupt officials, the PA will arrest you,” he said. “This is a desperate
political arrest by an undemocratic Palestinian Authority president who has no
credibility amongst his people.
My father has dedicated his life to
Al Sabawi was arrested two weeks after he
publicly called for overthrowing Abbas. He made that statement after PA security
officers entered the building housing Ahlia Insurance Group as part of an
operation to secure the visit of French President Francois Hollande to Ramallah.
Al Sabawi tried to prevent the officers from entering the building, arguing that
their action was illegal.