Sami Abu Zuhri is reported to be a spokesperson for the Palestinian terror organization Hamas. Zuhri regularly makes anti-Semitic, anti-Israel, and pro-violence statements. In November 2014, Abu Zuhri declared that “[all Israeli officials are] legitimate targets for the resistance.”“Hamas Says Israeli Leaders Are ‘Legitimate Targets’,” Times of Israel, November 21, 2014, http://www.timesofisrael.com/hamas-says-israeli-leaders-are-legitimate-targets/. He is believed to operate out of the Gaza Strip.
In March 2015, 26 Americans present at Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport at the time when it was targeted by Hamas missiles filed a lawsuit against the terror group. The charges of war crimes were filed against Abu Zuhri, Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal, and other Hamas officials.Avi Lewis, “26 Americans to sue Hamas for rocket fire at Ben Gurion Airport,” Times of Israel, March 31, 2015, http://www.timesofisrael.com/26-americans-to-sue-hamas-for-airport-rocket-fire-last-summer/.
Abu Zuhri received wide media attention in 2006 when Palestinian authorities caught him attempting to smuggle more than $800,000 in cash through the Rafah border crossing from Egypt. Abu Zuhri claimed that he was returning from Qatar with funds that had been donated to Hamas, while the Palestinian Authority accused Zuhri of smuggling money embezzled for personal use.“Hamas Caught Smuggling Cash,” Los Angeles Times, May 20, 2006, http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2006-05-20/news/0605200133_1_palestinian-executive-branch-direct-international-aid-hamas.
Abu Zuhri was implicated in separate incidents of alleged sexual harassment of female journalists in the Gaza Strip in 2007 and 2014, respectively.Lazar Berman, “Hamas spokesman said to have harassed female foreign reporter,” Times of Israel, December 7, 2014, http://www.timesofisrael.com/hamas-spokesman-said-to-have-harassed-female-foreign-reporter/. Nonetheless, he has continued to act as a spokesman for Hamas. In 2020, he condemned a series of normalization deals between Israel and other countries in the Middle East and North Africa region. Abu Zuhri accused Sudan, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates of betraying the Palestinian cause.Sami Abu Zuhri, Twitter post, October 23, 2020, 12:09 p.m., https://twitter.com/SamiZuhri/status/1319672292931260416; Sami Abu Zuhri, Twitter post, December 3, 2020, 10:15 a.m., https://twitter.com/SamiZuhri/status/1334516493778890760; Sami Abu Zuhri, Twitter post, December 20, 2020, 5:41 a.m., https://twitter.com/SamiZuhri/status/1340608161976336384. He also condemned the Palestinian Authority in April 2021 for delaying Palestinian legislative elections.Sami Abu Zuhri, Twitter post, April 27, 2021, 7:40 a.m., https://twitter.com/SamiZuhri/status/1387008861006176256. In the aftermath of the 11-day conflict between Hamas and Israel in May 2021, Abu Zuhri warned the ceasefire between the two parties remained fragile and was not a long-term truce.Adel Bin Ibrahim Bin Elhady Elthabti, “Continuation of cease-fire depends on Israel's behavior: Hamas,” Anadolu Agency, April 6, 2021, https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/continuation-of-cease-fire-depends-on-israels-behavior-hamas/2263423.
- Extremist entity
- Type(s) of Organization:
- Political, religious, social service provider, terrorist, violent
- Ideologies and Affiliations:
- Islamist, jihadist, Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated group, pan-Islamist, Qutbist, Sunni
Hamas is a U.S.-designated terrorist organization which has killed hundreds of Israeli citizens, as well as Americans, in suicide bombings and other terrorist attacks. Hamas has governed the Gaza Strip since it violently expelled the Palestinian Authority in 2007.