Senior Hamas leader dies of accidental gunshot wound to his head
A high-ranking leader of Palestinian Islamic resistance movement, Hamas, has died three weeks after he accidentally shot himself and suffered a serious gunshot wound to his head.
Hamas Spokesman Hazem Qassem, in a statement released on Tuesday, announced that Imad al-Alami, a former member of the political bureau of the movement, had died overnight.
Qassem added that Alami had been unconscious since the January 9 accidental shooting.
Hamas political bureau head Ismail Haniyeh together with a number of high-ranking figures of the movement took part in his funeral in Gaza in Tuesday afternoon, which drew large crowds of people.
Earlier, Hamas Spokesman Fawzy Barhoum said in a statement that Alami had been wounded while “inspecting his personal weapon in his home and was in critical condition.”
Alami was born in Gaza City on February 16, 1956, and joined the ranks of Hamas at an early age. He was active in the movement’s media work since its foundation.
He was arrested between 1988 and 1990 on charges of spreading anti-Israel rhetoric through the media committee of Hamas, and was expelled from the Gaza Strip in 1994.
Alami lived in exile for nearly 20 years and moved between several Arab countries. He played a major role in supporting the Palestinian cause. He finally returned to Gaza in 2012.
The senior Hamas leader was wounded by Israeli shelling during the Tel Aviv regime’s last military aggression on Gaza Strip in the summer of 2014, and had to have his leg amputated.
The Gaza Strip has been under an Israeli siege since June 2007. The blockade has caused a decline in living standards as well as unprecedented levels of unemployment and unrelenting poverty.
Under the Israeli blockade, about 1.8 million people in Gaza are deprived of their basic rights, such as freedom of movement, jobs with proper wages as well as adequate healthcare and education.