Imad al-Alami, the Hamas Leader who was arrested in 1991 by Israel for orchestrating terror activities, is in critical condition after he accidentally shot himself in the head.
He shot himself on Tuesday while inspecting his weapon, according to the group’s spokesperson, Fawzi Barhoum.
Mr . al-Alami, who is reportedly in his 60’s and is also known as Abu Hamam, was one of the founders of Hamas. In 2003, the U.S. declared him a “specially designated global terrorist”.
While this is the official story, some initial reports suggested it might have been an assassination attempt.
Medical sources say Mr. al-Alami, a former member of Hamas’s political bureau who has close ties to Iran, is being treated at a hospital in Gaza City. There was no independent confirmation of the circumstances of the incident.
The Hamas leader was evacuated to a Gaza City hospital.
Outlawed by the U.S. in 2003 for his position in Hamas, al-Alami is considered one of the Gaza terror group’s most important assets, due to his extensive ties with the Iranian government – a major sponsor of Hamas – and his personal relationship with Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah, himself a client of the Tehran regime.
In recent years, al-Alami operated out of Turkey, where he received medical treatment.
In 2014, during Operation Protective Edge when Israel went to war with Hamas after members of Hamas first murdered three Jewish teenagers, then struck Israel with rockets after Israel arrested Hamas leaders, unknown perpetrators broke al-Alami’s legs, reportedly by throwing him from a high place. There were rumors that al-Alami was fighting an internecine battle with senior Hamas official Fathi Hamad.
As Foreign Policy noted:
Not only was al-Alami on the list of the original six Hamas officials designated terrorists by the U.S. government in 2003, he is also the point man for all of Hamas’s relations with Iran and its proxies. He’s made countless trips to Iran, a country that has provided Hamas with military training and billions of dollars in financial and material aid. … al-Alami has had a close and continuing working relationship with Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah for over 20 years.
A founding father of the Hamas terror group, al-Alami returned to the Gaza Strip, where he previously served as deputy chief of Hamas’ Political Bureau, and once chaired its “Intifada Committee”.
In November, 2016, al-Alami was reportedly selected as Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh’s designated successor.
The BBC also expounds:
Mr. al-Alami also served for years as Hamas’s main envoy to Iran, the group’s main military and financial backer, according to the Times of Israel.
The newspaper says he left Damascus for Gaza in 2012 – a year after the start of the war in Syria, in which Hamas leaders expressed their support for forces fighting Iran’s ally President Bashar al-Assad.
Mr. al-Alami was then elected deputy leader in Gaza, a position he held until last year.
During that time he largely stayed out of the press but he is known to have taken part in talks over a ceasefire with Israel and the release of the captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, as well as efforts aimed at mending ties with Egypt and the other main Palestinian faction, Fatah.
This is not the first time al-Alami has suffered a serious injury. Back in the summer of 2014, he was treated in Turkey for serious leg injuries during the Israel-Gaza war. While it is not clear how he suffered the injuries, there are various claims ranging from an elevator collapsing on a Hamas hideout to him being injured by gunfire during a battle between Hamas activists.
According to one claim, he was hurt when an elevator collapsed inside a tunnel in which senior Hamas members were hiding. Another rumor said he was injured by gunfire during a battle between Hamas activists. He was treated in Turkey.
There were rumors that he was hurt in a clash between Hamas members, but the group insisted the wound was the result of an Israeli air strike during a conflict that year between Israel and militants in Gaza.
Al-Alami is unique among senior Hamas leaders for staying out of the press. He does not take part in press conferences nor is he active on any social media platform. So much for that, as this has made worldwide news.
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