Smoke rises from an apparent air strike by Israel in the Gaza Strip..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Hamas confirmed on Sunday that one of its top officials, Emad al-Alami, was injured at the beginning of Operation Protective Edge in the Gaza Strip.
Hamas said Alami was staying near a house that had been hit in an Israeli air strike and that he recently underwent a successful surgery in his right leg in a Turkish hospital.
Alami is the highest-ranking Hamas official to be wounded during the 50-day military operation against Hamas and Islamic Jihad targets in the Gaza Strip.
He originally was slated to participate in Hamas’s delegation to the cease-fire talks with Israel in Cairo, but was not able to leave Gaza after being injured in the air strike.
It’s not clear whether Alami was intended to be the target of the attack.
Sources in the Gaza Strip said he was meeting with two other senior Hamas officials when a nearby house was hit by Israel.
The two unnamed officials were lightly injured and treated in one of the Gaza Strip’s hospitals, according to the sources.
Before his condition worsened, Alami was treated in a local hospital. After the Egypt-brokered cease-fire agreement was announced, Hamas asked the Egyptians for permission to transfer him to a Turkish hospital.
Alami is a member of Hamas’s political leadership and is known to have close ties with Iran. In 1988, an Israeli court sentenced him to two years in prison for incitement and membership in Hamas. In 1991, he was deported to Lebanon together with three senior Hamas operatives.