A senior Palestinian Authority official who had recently been arrested on suspicion of selling property to ethnic Jews allegedly committed suicide in Ramallah on Sunday.
Osama Akel Hassan Mansour, 49, was killed when he fell from the third floor of a building that serves as headquarters of the Western-backed PA’s military intelligence force.
A PA security source said that Mansour was arrested on June 19 for involvement in land transactions with Israelis.
The source said that Mansour had been in charge of a department that was created by the PA to prevent Palestinians from selling property to Jews.
“We discovered that the man who was responsible for thwarting such land deals was himself involved in such transactions,” the source told journalists, pointing out that PA law prohibits Palestinians from conducting real estate deals with Israelis – a crime punishable by death.
Mansour fell to his death on Sunday as he was being escorted to the offices of the Palestinian Military Prosecution in Ramallah.
A PA security source told AFP that Mansour fell out of a window and died, adding that they did not know whether he jumped, fell or was pushed.
Mansour’s wife told Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency that she believes her husband did not die naturally or commit suicide but was killed.
She had visited him on Friday and said he was in good spirits, joking and making people around him laugh.
She called on authorities to immediately conduct an autopsy to determine the cause of death.
A spokesman for the PA security forces said that Mansour was suspected of involvement in corruption, but did not elaborate.
The spokesman said that the PA has formed a special commission of inquiry to investigate the circumstances surrounding the official’s death.