Hamas Arrests Former Spokesman Over Alleged Corruption

Ayman Taha not suspected of working with foreign powers such as Israel or Egypt, Hamas says.

Jack Khoury
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Jack Khoury

Hamas, the Islamist movement ruling the Gaza Strip, announced that Ayman Taha, a senior member of the organization and former spokesman, was arrested several days ago and interrogated by the authorities for alleged corruption charges.

A statement issued by the organization on Friday explicitly stated that Taha was not suspected of working with foreign powers such as Israel or Egypt. It also said that the charges against Taha did not implicate any of his family members, specifically his father Mohammed Taha, one of the organization's founders.

Taha, who is known in Gaza for his extravagant lifestyle, standing in opposition to the relative austerity exhibited by the rest of Hamas's leadership, disappeared 10 days ago, and there have been reports that he might have gone on a secret mission to Egypt, but these reports were viewed with skepticism. Some websites reported that he was arrested on corruption charges and on charges that he had improper relations with a married Gaza woman.

Hamas didn't specify what the Taha was charged with any specificity. They also added that he held no official position and was no longer the organization's spokesman.

Reports emerging from Gaza state that Taha is in the Ezzedeen Al-Qassam facility, where he was held after his property was confiscated. 

Hamas policemen march during graduation ceremony at Arafat Police Academy in Gaza City on January 29, 2014.Credit: AP