Gunmen shoot, wound Hamas official in West Bank

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — Palestinian police said unknown assailants on Friday shot and wounded an official affiliated with Gaza’s militant Hamas rulers in the occupied West Bank.

Nasser al-Shaer, who served as deputy Hamas prime minister for a year and a half after the group won the last Palestinian elections in 2006, was admitted to hospital with gunshot wounds to his legs.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the shooting and ordered an investigation. He also phoned al-Shaer and wished him a speedy recovery, according to the official Palestinian news agency Wafa.

Hamas, which in 2007 routed pro-Abbas forces in the Gaza Strip, denounced the shooting as an “assassination attempt,” calling on its rival Fatah movement to stop inciting against Hamas.

Since 2007, when Hamas seized power in the coastal strip, Gaza has remained under an Israeli-Egyptian blockade. Repeated efforts to reconcile Abbas’ Palestinian Authority, which holds sway in parts of the Israeli-occupied West Bank, and Gaza’s militant Hamas rulers have failed.

Al-Shaer also works as an academic at An-Najah University in Nablus city.

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