Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas issued a presidential ordinance instructing the commanders of the Palestinian security establishment to burn tapes containing images and footage of nude Palestinian officials in "embarrassing postures and situations."
The objective of the ordinance is to thwart blackmailing attempts of Abbas' bureau head Rafiq al-Husseini, following the "sex tape" scandal in which he was involved, according to the London-based Arabic-language al-Quds al-Arabi newspaper.
The controversial tape was aired last month, showing al-Husseini naked in a Jerusalem house while fondling his secretary.
Former senior figure in the Palestinian General Intelligence Service Fahmi Shabaneh, who exposed the affair, said al-Husseini tried to sexually exploit a Palestinian woman that asked him for employment. Al-Husseini claimed he fell victim to an extortion attempt orchestrated by members of the General Intelligence Service.
Al-Quds al-Arabi reported that Abbas issued an unequivocal order to torch all documentations of embarrassing nature – even those pertaining to ordinary citizens.
Abbas issued the ordinance after reviewing the conclusions of the commission of inquiry he formed, which recommended dismissing al-Husseini from all his duties in the presidential office. Al-Husseini has been under suspension since the affair was exposed.
The committee also found former head of the PA General Intelligence Service Tawfik Tirawi fully responsible for the affair, and he was dismissed from duty last year.
A senior security source told the London-based publication that the security establishment has many similar tapes that document Palestinian officials in embarrassing postures and situations, also in their private lives.
The publication reported that the commission of inquiry rejected Tirawi's claims about the reasons behind filming the bureau head. Al-Husseini on his part said he will continue legal proceedings against those who set him up.