Top Hamas Official in Gaza Wounded in Mysterious Shooting

GAZA CITY (AP) -

The Hamas terrorist group said Tuesday that one of its senior officials is in critical condition after accidentally shooting himself while cleaning his weapon.

Initial reports, some by Hamas’ official media, said that Imad al-Alami had died of natural causes. But Hamas subsequently said he was badly wounded in a gun accident.

The 62-year-old al-Alami is a former member of Hamas’s policy-making politburo and remains a top official.

Israel exiled al-Alami from Gaza in 1994. He spent most of his time in Syria before returning in 2012, after Hamas abandoned its longtime base in Damascus.

After the 2014 war between Hamas and Israel, al-Alami traveled to Turkey for treatment for what Hamas said was an injury during the war. There were no details on how he was injured and lost a leg.