Mahmoud al-Aloul, a member of the Fatah Central Committee, said the scandal was part of a scheme designed to foil Abbas’s renewed statehood bid.
Ghazali quoted Abbas as telling two senior PA officials who presented him with details of the sex scandal as saying: “Close the case until I return from the US because this is a sensitive time and we are facing elections. If the public learns about it, we will lose the presidential and municipal election. We already have enough scandals and don’t need more.”
The scandal erupted after a Palestinian woman complained that Hussein Sheikh, a top Fatah official who serves as PA Civilian Affairs Minister, harassed her sexually and tried to bribe her and her husband.
The woman, who works in Sheikh’s ministry, said the minister summoned her to his office on the pretext that he wanted her to help fix a computer.
Ghazali said that the woman, who is married and has two children, spat in the minister’s face after he tried to force himself on her while the two were alone in his office.
According to Ghazali, the minister later sent her a number of SMS messages to her mobile phone in which he continued to harass her sexually.
The woman’s husband, Ahmed Abu Alam, 30, also works in the ministry and is a former commander of Fatah’s armed wing, the Aksa Martyrs Brigades.
Upon hearing from his wife about Sheikh’s behavior, the furious husband stormed the minister’s office carrying a pistol, but did not find him, Ghazali said.
According to the investigative journalist, Sheikh later offered the husband $10,000 and a promise of promotion for him and his wife in return for their silence.
Abu Alam said he and his wife filed a complaint against Sheikh with various PA security forces in Ramallah and members of the Fatah Central Committee, but to no avail.
He added that he also provided the security forces and Fatah leaders with evidence implicating the minister, including the text messages and the cash.
The husband said that he and his wife have since been facing a campaign of threats and intimidation to force them to withdraw their complaint.
Last week, Abu Alam and his two brothers, Nasser and Muhammad, were detained for four hours by the PA’s Military Intelligence Force in Ramallah.
Upon his release, Abu Alam went to Abbas’s office and demanded to talk to the PA president. “I was told that he had traveled to the US,” the husband said.
The Abu Alam’s have fled to Jordan. A curse on their house and Sheikh’s. Heh.
Sex scandal, ‘Palestinian’ style
‘Moderate‘ ‘Palestinian‘ President Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen has put the kaboshes on an investigation into a sex scandal involving one of his ministers until he returns from the United Nations General Assembly in New York (where he is due to speak on Thursday). The ‘Palestinians’ are already accusing ‘people opposed to our statehood bid’ of being behind the scandal, even though Abu Mazen has supposedly promised President Obama that he would not bring up the statehood bid until after the US elections on November 6.