Hamas confirmed on Saturday that its former spokesman, Ayman Taha, has been arrested on charges of profiteering and abuse of power.
Taha was being interrogated about his behavior, abuse of power and illegal profiteering, a statement issued by Hamas said.
Taha’s case has “no link to security aspects or hostile parties,” the statement said, a reference to rumors that the former spokesman may have been arrested for espionage.
Hamas said that Taha was no longer serving as its spokesman and would not return to his job.
Taha, the son of a prominent Hamas leader, disappeared a few weeks ago, sparking a wave of rumors about his whereabouts. He was initially believed to have fled to Egypt. Later, however, it transpired that members of Hamas’s armed wing, Izzadin Kassam, had arrested him.
This is the first time Hamas has announced the arrest of one of its senior officials on charges of corruption.
Taha’s family, meanwhile, has launched a Facebook campaign to exert pressure on Hamas to disclose the fate of their son and the nature of the charges against him.
A Fatah-affiliated news website claimed over the weekend that he was transferred to the hospital last week after being brutally tortured during interrogation.
The website quoted eyewitnesses as saying that masked Hamas gunmen brought Taha to Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. Taha was bleeding and could barely stand, they said.