A Hamas official says the Palestinian Islamist group has arrested one of its senior members over suspected financial misdealings.

Ahmed Bahar, the deputy speaker of the legislative council, said Ayman Taha, who also serves as a spokesman, was arrested in the Gaza Strip. A separate Hamas official said Taha was arrested over "financial issues" but did not elaborate. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the arrest with the media. It was not clear when Taha was arrested.

Bahar made the remarks in an interview with an Arab satellite channel. His office confirmed the comments to The Associated Press on Monday.

Hamas has sought to maintain an image of zero-tolerance in the face of corruption, even among senior officials.