Fatah-allied lawmaker in Gaza shot by gunmen

Ashraf Jomma, treated for minor wounds; party loyalists protest attack by setting tires on fire.

Gazans protest violence  (photo credit: AP)
Gazans protest violence
(photo credit: AP)
Unidentified gunmen Monday shot and wounded a Palestinian lawmaker allied to Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah movement and beat up another man in the legislator's office, witnesses and hospital officials said. The legislator, Ashraf Jomma, was treated for minor wounds and released from hospital, officials said. Fatah loyalists took to the streets after the attack and set tires afire in protest. Hamas, which controls Gaza, mobilized its security forces, but there were no immediate clashes. Islam Shahwan, a spokesman for the Hamas Executive Force, said the security unit was "investigating a serious incident, and will bring those responsible to justice." In the West Bank city of Ramallah, a Fatah spokesman blamed Hamas for the attack. Jomma was one of four Fatah legislators who remained in Gaza after the Islamist Hamas forcibly took over the coastal territory in a brief but bloody internecine war last month. Abbas dismissed the Hamas-led government and installed a moderate caretaker administration in the West Bank. The assault could be related to a communication sent to journalists earlier Monday complaining that Jomma had notified the West Bank government of the identity of several men described as Hamas employees, meaning they would be denied their salaries. The government has begun paying salaries to civil servants, but has refused to pay anyone hired by Hamas, or about 30,000 of the 164,000 government workers in Gaza.