PA police officer shoots Hamas lawmakers, tensions rise

Tuesday, April 21, 2009 |  Israel Today Staff  

Tensions between rival Palestinian groups Hamas and Fatah escalated on Sunday when a police officer aligned with the Fatah-ruled Palestinian Authority shot and wounded a Hamas parliamentarian in the Samarian town of Nablus.

According to eyewitness reports relayed to The Jerusalem Post, the officer first cursed at and threatened Hamas lawmaker Hamed Bitawi as he and his son exited a mosque. When Bitawi's son said the officer should just shoot them, he opened fire at Bitawi's legs, lightly wounding him.

The attack occurred just one day after Hamas gunmen in Gaza shot three Fatah supporters in the legs.

Hamas called the Nablus shooting an attempted assassination attempt, and vowed revenge. The Palestinian Authority said the shooting was an isolated event and said the police officer had been taken into custody.

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