Senior Hamas leader Imad al-Alami shot himself in the head by accident while cleaning his weapon, according to a Hamas spokesperson.
The accident occured while al-Alami, also known as Abu Hamam, was “inspecting his personal weapon in his home,” Hamas spokesperson Fawzi Barhoum told media. Alami is in critical condition and is reportedly being treated at a hospital in Gaza city.
The BBC reported that, according to initial reports, the shooting may have been an assassination attempt.
Alami, now in his sixties, was one of the founders of Hamas and is a former member of the group’s political bureau. He was designated as a special global terrorist by the United States in 2003, along with five other senior Hamas leaders.
From 1994, when he was exiled from Israel, until 2008, when he moved to Damascus, he represented Hamas in Iran. In 2012 he became deputy Hamas leader on his return to Gaza, according to The Daily Wire. He held that position until early 2017.
Last week, ISIS declared war on Hamas. The Islamic State’s branch in the Sinai peninsula made the declaration in a 22-minute video in which they execute a man accused of smuggling weapons to Hamas in Gaza.