Ramallah, Asharq Al-Awsat—Hamas is responsible for the death of ex-spokesman Ayman Taha, a Palestinian security source told Asharq Al-Awsat. Taha’s body was dumped in front of Al-Shifa hospital in the Gaza Strip on Thursday, eyewitnesses reported.
A Palestinian security source, speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat on the condition of anonymity, said that Taha—son of one of Hamas’s original founders—was killed after being shot in the chest and head. The former Hamas official had been arrested by the Al-Qassam Brigade—the military wing of the Palestinian group—on January 23 and interrogated over his ties to Arab intelligence agencies.
Hamas only acknowledged the former spokesman’s arrest in February, issuing a statement announcing that an “internal investigation” was being conducted into Taha’s actions, citing allegations of “influence peddling and profiteering.”
However the statement also strongly denied that Taha was conspiring with “enemy” forces. The Palestinian group issued the statement under pressure, after initially denying any knowledge about the spokesman’s whereabouts or disappearance.
Hamas issued a statement on Thursday announcing that Taha was killed when Israeli forces targeted him in the apartment where he was staying in Gaza City. The statement said that the former spokesman was severely wounded by Israeli bombing and later died, making no mention of gunshot wounds.
Taha’s family had previously taken to social media to condemn the Hamas movement for slandering and libeling the spokesman’s name and refusing to divulge information about his whereabouts.
Ayman Taha’s brother appeared in a video that circulated widely on social media in which he said: “We cannot find anyone in Hamas that wants to answer our questions [about where Taha is]. Ayman is human. Maybe he made some mistakes, but not to the extent that they are saying.”