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Candid camera sex scandal shocks Palestinians (AFP)

February 11th, 2010

Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas (C) is flanked by Nabil Abu Rudeina (right) and Rafiq al-Husseini, 2006. Palestinians were shocked after Israeli TV aired a graphic video showing a senior official caught on a hidden camera soliciting sex from a job applicant.(AFP/File/Mahmud Hams)AFP – Palestinians were shocked on Thursday after Israeli TV aired a graphic video showing a senior official caught on a hidden camera soliciting sex from a job applicant.

The video, parts of which aired on Israel’s Channel 10 earlier this week, was shot by former Palestinian intelligence officer Fahmi Shabaneh, who has accused the Western-backed Palestinian Authority of widespread corruption.

In the video, Rafiq al-Husseini, president Mahmud Abbas’s chief of staff, is shown flirting with a woman Shabaneh said was seeking a job in the Authority before entering a bedroom, taking off his clothes and crawling into bed.

“How does this work? Should I turn off the lights or will you,” he chuckles from inside the room to someone off-screen in the video, now widely available on youtube.

Moments later Shabaneh and several other security men walk into the room, surprising a naked Husseini, who holds British citizenship, and confronting him with the allegations.

The video was shot sometime in 2008.

Whistle-blower Shabaneh said he was releasing it now because the Authority had refused to act on his investigation of top officials who he accused of stealing millions of dollars of public funds.

The Palestinian Authority is up in arms over the report, and attorney general Ahmad al-Mughanni on Wednesday threatened to pursue “legal action against Israel’s Channel 10 for circulating lies and false claims.”

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