Saudi Arabian authorities arrested a high-ranking Hamas official who served as the Gaza-based terrorist organization’s financial branch outside of the Strip, according to an unconfirmed report in the Egyptian Al-Youm al-Saba’a newspaper on Monday.
The report stated that Maher Salah had been apprehended in the gulf state several months ago on suspicion that he laundered money and illegally smuggled funds across the Saudi Arabian border, according to Israel Radio.
The Egyptian newspaper added that Hamas member Mohammed Nazzal has since been appointed financial chairman in Salah’s stead.
Eight months after a ruinous war with Israel, the reconstruction of Gaza has barely begun, and Hamas remains its power despite expectations that it cede some of its power to West Bank-based Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Aid agencies and analysts say that prospects for recovery have been hampered by the political wrangling from Hamas and Fatah, the continued embargo and a slow response from donor countries.