|Died||7 August 2014|
Son of Mohammad Taha, a local Hamas official and director of the Islamic University of Gaza, in 1998, Ayman Taha served as the President of the Student Council of the university. He later served as a commander of the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades in Bureij during the Second Intifada in the early 2000s.
After the Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip in June 2007, Taha became the group's spokesman for the territory. In February 2009, after returning from a Palestinian delegation in Egypt discussing a long-term truce with Israel, Egyptian authorities prevented Taha from entering the Gaza Strip with over $11 million. Instead he deposited it in an Egyptian bank in al-Arish. On 30 March, he announced in a discussion on a Nazareth-based radio station the Hamas "would not remain open forever" concerning the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. In July 2009, Taha noted that a "culture of resistance" is being promoted in Gaza after the Gaza War, stating "Armed resistance is still important and legitimate, but we have a new emphasis on cultural resistance... After the war, the fighters needed a break and the people needed a break."
Accusations of Corruption
In February 2014, Ayman Taha was arrested and investigated for "misconduct, illegal profiteering, and betrayal of trust". The investigation is on-going, however it must be noted that the corruption and betrayal charges do not relate to or insinuate any collaboration with Israel.
He was killed by a Hamas firing squad during Operation Protective Edge. Hamas accused him of being an Egyptian spy and executed him at point blank range. One source claims that he was executed because he may implicate several Hamas officials in a corruption scandal. Later, they blamed Israel for being responsible for his death, claiming he died from an Israeli airstrike.
- Bronner, Ethan. Hamas Shifts From Rockets to Public Relations The New York Times. 23 July 2009. Philippine Daily Inquirer 4 March 2003
- Gunning, 2008, p.279.
- Wright, Jonathan. Egypt holds Hamas money bound for Gaza Reuters. 5 February 2009.
- Khoury, Jack. Hamas: Shalit deal won't remain on table forever Haaretz. 30 March 2009.
- Middle East Monitor. Hamas arrests former spokesman on charges of corruption Middle East Monitor. 22 February 2014.