June July 2016
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Hamas Leader Accused of Gay Sex, Killed

Hamas

A scandal is rocking the Palestinian territory of Gaza, with a young leader killed by his fellow soldiers after being accused of embezzlement and gay sex.

Mahmoud Ishtiwi, 34, was part of "Hamas royalty" — a respected member of the governing Islamic authority of the Gaza Strip, according to a report in The New York Times. Married to two women and the father of three children, Ishtiwi was revered for sheltering Hamas leaders and later became a commander of the military brigade stationed in his Gaza City neighborhood. 

Things began to change in January, when Ishtiwi admitted funneling money to his brigade that was instead meant for weapons. After that, an investigation opened up on Ishtiwi, one that allegedly uncovered male lovers. Not only were Hamas officials humiliated over the reports, they believed his secret life could open him up to blackmail by Israeli officials. Rumors also began circling that he aided Israelis in an assassination attempt on a military leader named Mohammed Deif, an attack that instead killed one of Deif's wives and their baby.

Ishtiwi would admit to family members that some of the accusations were true, only to later take it back. Reports indicated he carved the word "zulum" — meaning "wronged" — unto his body. He was imprisoned and, he reported to his family, tortured. In the early hours of February 7, Ishtiwi's family pleaded with officials to spare his life; he was killed that day. 

Tags: World, Islam
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