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Page last updated at 09:14 GMT, Wednesday, 29 April 2009 10:14 UK

Palestinian handed death sentence

Israeli settlement of Carmel near Hebron
Israel has settled hundreds of thousands of its citizens on occupied land

A Palestinian military court has condemned a man to death by hanging for treason for selling land to Israelis.

Anwar Breghit, 59, was convicted by a court in the West Bank town of Hebron. He sold property near his village "that he did not own", prosecutors said.

Correspondents say the sentence, which has to be approved by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, is not expected to be carried out.

The Palestinian leader has withheld his approval in several similar cases.

Only two people have had death sentences against them carried out, although others have been summarily executed over suspicions that they sold land to Israelis.

The land near the Palestinian village of Beit Omar that Anwar Breghit sold ended up in the possession of Jewish settlers residing in the nearby settlement of Karmei Tzur.

Israel occupied the West Bank and other Arab territory in the 1967 war.

It has settled more than 400,000 of its own citizens in the West Bank and East Jerusalem - illegally in the eyes of international law, although Israel disputes this.

The continued presence and expansion of Jewish settlements in the West Bank is one of the main points of contention in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Friction between settlements and the more than two million Palestinians in the West Bank frequently leads to violence and bloodshed.



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