Hamas Co-Founder Dies From Accidental Gun Shot

Imad al-Alami, a co-founder of Hamas and senior official of the group, died Tuesday after he allegedly shot himself in the head earlier this month.

Alami, 62, had been on life support since January 9 after he shot himself “while examining his personal weapon in his home,” Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said.

Hundreds of Palestinians, including many senior Hamas leaders, attended his funeral procession Tuesday.

“Hamas was Abu Hamam and Abu Hamas was Hamas,” said Hamas Politburo Chief Ismail Haniveh. “He was able to deal with changes and transformations and prescribe [appropriate] policies and strategies for the different periods of time.”

There is no independent confirmation that Alami accidentally shot himself in the head and some rumours suggest he might have attempted suicide or assasinated.

Hamas denied those rumours and insisted his shooting was the result of an accident.

Alami’s most recent position in Hamas was as an elected deputy, which he held until last year, the BBC reported.

Before he stepped down, Alami was reportedly involved in ceasefire talks with Israel and was involved in the release of captured Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit in 2011. The Palestinians released Shalit to Israel in exchange for more than 1,000 Palestinian political prisoners.