Top Hamas leader shot in head by own pistol gunshot

Prominent Hamas official Imad al-Alami, one of the original founders of the Gaza-based Islamist group, was critically injured on Tuesday after being shot in the head outside his home in the Strip, a security source in the Gaza Strip told i24NEWS.

In a statement, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhum said a bullet hit al-Elemi's head as he was checking his personal weapon at his home.

He served as deputy chief of Hamas and vice chairman of the movement until the new elections of the group in March past year.

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.

Alami has been a Hamas member since the late 1980s and was the first Hamas representative in Tehran.

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Al-Alami is unique among senior Hamas leaders for staying out of the press.

Al-Alami, also known as Abu Hamam, was born in Gaza in 1956.

Al-Alami, who is a mechanical engineer by training, suffered serious leg injuries during the Israel-Gaza war in the summer of 2014, in circumstances that are not totally clear.

Hamas has said Iran is now its leading military backer.

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