Abbas fires aide in wake of sex scandal


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas fired his chief of staff in the wake of a sex scandal.

Rafik Husseini was captured on a videotape, broadcast last week on Israel’s Channel 10, naked in the room of a Palestinian woman who had sought assistance from the Palestinian Authority.

Husseini was suspended from his position Sunday, and a commission was established to investigate the scandal. 

Husseini said Sunday in a statement to reporters in Ramallah that he had been “ambushed by a gang that works for Israeli intelligence,” claiming that the “gang used the tape to blackmail me financially and politically.” 

The tape was filmed in 2008 by a hidden camera after the woman in the video complained of Husseini’s advances. A former Palestinian General Intelligence Service official, Fahmi Shabaneh, made the tape public.

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