Masked gunmen broke into the headquarters of the Al-Tayar newspaper in Khartoum, Sudan on Saturday and attacked the editor-in-chief, who had recently said on TV that the country should normalize relations with Israel.

The gunmen blamed the editor, Osman Mirghani, for his “disgraceful position” towards Israel, eyewitnesses told the Sudan Tribune.

Mirghani wrote an article in his newspaper calling for the normalization of ties with Israel and then on a TV talk show defended his opinion.

He complained that the program was recorded over three weeks ago, but questioned the timing of the broadcast, as it was shown as the Israeli attack on Gaza was underway.

The attackers seized all the cell phones and laptops from the newspaper’s office and attacked other staff as well.

Ibrahim Ghandour, a top assistant to President Omar al-Bashir, visited Mirghani in the hospital and said that he was unconscious, AFP reported.

Defense Minister Abdel-Rahim Mohamed Hussein, in a Ramadan breakfast with Sudanese journalists, condemned the attack as “unethical behavior,” according to the Sudan Tribune, which also reported that the country’s clerical authority, the Religious Scholars Committee, issued a fatwa on Friday prohibiting calls to normalize relations with Israel.

Worshipers demonstrated against Israel’s attacks on Gaza from inside Khartoum’s grand mosque after Friday prayers.

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