The top Hamas media spokesperson, Sami Abu Zuhri, came under attack from fellow Palestinians Saturday as he arrived at Shifa Hospital in Gaza City for a press interview, according to a report on the Israeli multimedia news outlet Arutz Sheva (Channel Seven) on Tuesday.
Arutz Sheva cited “Palestinian Arab sources” for the report of the assault, which it said took place at the same hospital where last week a journalist from Finland reported that Hamas fired a rocket aimed at Israel. Aishi Zidan, a reporter for Finland’s largest newspaper Helsingin Sanomat, said that she witnessed a Hamas rocket being fired from a parking lot behind the civilian hospital.
Hamas has also been reported to use the hospital as a headquarters for its leaders and for press briefings, an assertion that the arrival of Abu Zuhri at the hospital Saturday would appear to confirm.
When he arrived, according to the Channel Seven report, Abu Zuhri was set upon by an outraged crowd of displaced Gaza residents.
“The residents blamed Hamas for the death of family members and for destruction of their homes,” Channel Seven reported.
The channel also reported that the Hamas PR official was rescued from the outraged mob by armed members of the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades, which is the military wing of Hamas.
The Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades are headed by the secretive, 54-year-old Mohammed Deif, whose real name is Mohammed Diab al-Masri and who is believed to be the mastermind of the Hamas strategy of rocket and tunnel attacks against Israel and who is believed to have survived five Israeli assassination attempts.
The sources talking to Channel Seven gave no indication of what happened to the aggrieved Gaza residents after their arrests by Deif’s fighters. But according to The Times of Israel, “dozens” of accused “collaborators” with Israel were executed by Hamas security forces last week.
A Hamas official issued a dire warning to Palestinians in Gaza not to stray from the Hamas party line.
“The eyes of of the Internal Security Agency are dispersed throughout the Gaza Strip to maintain security and protect the home front,” said Hamas Interior Ministry press spokesperson Iyad Al-Bozom, on his Facebook page.