Palestinian-Canadian investor arrested for insult

Dec. 3, 2013 at 7:04 AM   |   0 comments

RAMALLAH, West Bank, Dec. 3 (UPI) -- A Palestinian-Canadian investor was arrested by Palestinian police and held for 8 hours for allegedly insulting President Mahmoud Abbas, his son said.

Mohamed al-Sabawi, 68, was arrested in his Ramallah office Monday by armed police, The Jerusalem Post reported al-Sabawi's son Khaled wrote on his Facebook page. He was released after being held for 8 hours.

"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' feelings," the younger al-Sabawi wrote.

Two weeks ago, Mohamed al-Sabawi publicly called for Abbas' overthrow after Palestinian police entered his office to secure the area during a visit to Ramallah by French President Francois Hollande, the newspaper said.

Khaled al-Sabawi insisted, however, his father's arrest conflicts with efforts by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to boost private investment in Palestinian territories.

"Come and invest in the PA [Palestinian Authority] areas, but if you don't bribe their corrupt officials, the PA will arrest you," he wrote. "This is a desperate political arrest by an undemocratic Palestinian Authority president who has no credibility among his people," the younger al-Sabawi wrote.

Mohamed al-Sabawi is president of the board of directors and director general of the Ahlia Insurance Group, which employs hundreds of West Bank Palestinians, the Post said Tuesday.

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