Sami Abu Zuhri, one of the most high-profile spokesmen for Hamas, is apparently being investigated by the Islamist terrorist group for sexually harassing a foreign female reporter.
According to several Fatah-linked websites, the unnamed foreign reporter approached Fouzi Barhoum – another Hamas spokesman – and complained that Abu Zuhri had sexually harassed her.
According to sources inside Gaza, Barhoum then relayed the accusations to his superiors, who temporarily suspended Abu Zuhri pending an internal investigation.
The report has not been confirmed by Hamas or by any independent sources, so it is difficult to ascertain its veracity, or whether it is simply an attempt by Fatah activists to discredit one of their Islamist rival’s most visible figureheads. However, it is notable that the once-prolific Abu Zuhri has all but disappeared from the limelight in recent weeks.
During the summer’s 50-day conflict between Israel and terrorists in Gaza, Abu Zuhri became a familiar face, relaying Hamas’s official line to Arab and international media outlets.
In one particularly infamous instance he was recorded encouraging Palestinian civilians in Gaza to act as human shields – a blatant violation of international humanitarian law which was cited as yet more evidence by pro-Israel groups of Hamas’s policy of using human shields to deter Israeli strikes or otherwise inflate the civilian death toll.