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Former Hamas Spokesman Found Dead in Gaza City

Ayman Taha, former spokesman for Hamas, found dead in Gaza City. He may have been executed over spying.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 8/8/2014, 2:42 AM

Hamas terrorist in Gaza (file)
Hamas terrorist in Gaza (file)
Reuters

Ayman Taha, a former spokesman for Hamas was found dead Thursday in Gaza City, but there were conflicting reports as to the cause of his death.

According to AFP, Hamas said Taha’s body was found in a neighborhood of the city that was heavily bombed by Israel and accused the Jewish state of being responsible for his death.

Taha was killed when Israeli forces "targeted him in the apartment where he was with several others in Gaza City" in the Shejaiya neighborhood, the group claimed in a statement quoted by the news agency.

He was severely wounded and died later, the statement said.

Some Arab media outlets, however, reported that Taha was executed by Hamas over charges of spying for Egypt.

Taha, the son of one of the group's founders, was a well known spokesman for Hamas before his arrest in February.

Hamas's security apparatus detained him as part of an investigation into the possible "abuse of funds" and other allegations.

If Taha was indeed executed by Hamas over spying or collaboration charges, that would not be a first for Hamas.

In fact, a security official in Gaza confirmed earlier on Thursday that "resistance groups" in Gaza executed tens of Palestinian Arabs deemed as alleged "informants" to Israel during Operation Protective Edge.

According to Palestinian Arab sources, during the war took Hamas members executed more than 30 Gazans, most of them in Sheijaiya.

Hamas regularly executes people who are found guilty of spying, despite condemnations from the international community over this practice.