Hamas terrorists
Hamas terroristsEmad Nassar/Flash 90

Hamas-affiliated lawmaker Nasser al-Din al-Shaer was shot on Friday by Palestinian Arab gunmen near Shechem (Nablus), JPost’s Khaled Abu Toameh reported.

Al-Shaer, a lecturer at An-Najah University and a former Palestinian Arab deputy prime minister, was pictured wounded but conscious as he was rushed to a local hospital for treatment.

Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas instructed the PA security forces to launch an investigation into the shooting, according to the report.

The incident is seen in the context of the ongoing dispute between Hamas and Abbas' Fatah faction. Al-Shaer is one of Hamas' top representatives in Judea and Samaria.

Hamas and Fatah have been at odds since 2007, when Hamas violently took control of Gaza in a bloody coup, and all attempts to reconcile the sides have failed.

A unity government between Hamas and Fatah collapsed in 2015 when Abbas decided to dissolve it amid a deepening rift between the sides.

Hamas and Fatah signed a reconciliation agreement in October of 2017, as part of which Hamas was to transfer power in Gaza by December 1 of that year.

That deadline was initially put back by 10 days and later reportedly hit “obstacles”. It has never been implemented.

Both Fatah and Hamas, which rules Gaza, routinely crack down on political opponents in the areas they control.

Last July, the PA closed the offices of JMedia, a news agency in Ramallah, and summoned its director, Ala al-Rimawi, for questioning.

Last month, a Palestinian Arab reporter working for an Iranian news agency was briefly abducted, beaten and threatened by Palestinian gunmen after covering the violent dispersal of an Islamist student demonstration.

(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)