"Sex and the PNA"
According to Fatah security apparatus orders, it was important to duly destroy any sensitive document or material before it fell into the hands of the Hamas. Now, however, it appears that not only intelligence material was stored at command headquarters and that not just weapons and documents have fallen into Hamas men's hands, but also a real treasure of a different kind: tens of sex tapes documenting the deeds of much of the senior Palestinian leadership.
Most of the tapes show Palestinian seniors cheating on their wives. Of course, these materials were regarded as explosive stuff in the Palestinian arena, which is particularly sensitive to moral violations. The embarrassing tapes shot secretly were used as a means to extort and pressure various different targets, who necessarily feared any repercussions from both a personal and public angle. It appears that security officials also used the photos to procure benefits and recruit agents from among political rivals both in Fatah and Hamas.
Internal disputes within Fatah led to a situation whereby every senior would try to collect damaging material on his opponent within the organization. This, for example, is the reason why a senior
minister in one of the Fatah governments was among those taped. Another victim is a very senior officer from the Palestinian security mechanism, who was apparently taped by someone from a rival
Targets within Hamas were also marked; for example, security officials taped a well known Hamas member in Gaza engaged in sexual intercourse with a young woman. Afterwards, he was presented with the tape and given two choices: cooperate with us, or we reveal the pictures. Having no choice, the Hamas man agreed to become an agent for the security mechanisms and to transfer them information on his organization.
An official of the Hamas military arm confirmed the existence of the tapes, and even admitted to watching a few of them. "Whatever is happening there doesn't make sense," he said, adding: "These are respected individuals, including even former ministers. We saw on tape people whom we never imagined would be duped this way." The victims were documented in various different places -in their homes, in hotels, and even in offices.
Ironically, the means of extortion are now in Hamas's hands. Although the organization's members won't openly admit it, they benefit from the use of dubious means of pressure. "Many Fatah men who fled the Gaza Strip now have their lips sealed," said the Hamas man with satisfaction. "They don't dare attack us in the media, because they know what we've got. They are afraid that if they talk, we will reveal the materials in our possession."
All of the embarrassing tapes are now in the hands of the Izz-adeen al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas's military arm, which values them hightly. "Who knows? Maybe one day we will make use of them," says the Hamas man smugly.
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