Nablus, April 20 – A member of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s security forces shot and wounded a Hamas lawmaker in disputed circumstances in the occupied West Bank on Sunday.
Hamed al-Bitawi was shot in the leg outside a mosque in the city of Nablus, his son Fadel said.
The son described the incident as politically motivated and Hamas spokesman Ahmed Bahar said it was an attempt to kill Bitawi by a member of the Preventive Security Service, which is dominated by Abbas’s Fatah group.
Fatah spokesman Fahmi Zareer called the incident a personal quarrel. Nablus governor Jamal Mouheissen said the attacker had been been detained for questioning.
Hamas and Fatah, which controls the West Bank, have been locked in a power struggle since the Islamist group won a parliamentary election in 2006 and seized control of the Gaza Strip from Abbas’s group a year later.
Egypt is trying to heal the rift between the groups at talks that Cairo hopes will culminate in a national unity government. The talks have shown little sign of progress.