Early Friday morning, Hamas’ Internal Security chief in the Gaza Strip survived a car explosion in the Nuseirat Refugee camp. Hamas closed off the camp and is currently investigating the failed assassination attempt, which moderately injured the senior Hamas official.

Tawfik Abu Naim

Tawfik Abu Naim Photo Credit: Channel 2 News

A Hamas-affiliated media outlet in the Gaza Strip reported that Hamas Internal Security commander Tawfik Abu Naim was wounded Friday morning from an assassination attempt in the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza Strip.

According to the report, Abu Naim was moderately wounded, suffering from injuries to his leg and back, and was evacuated to Shuhada al-Aqsa Hospital in Khan Yunis. At this stage, it is not clear who was behind the incident in which Abu Naim was targeted by a car explosion.

Immediately following the attempt, Hamas’ military wing declared the Nuseirat refugee camp a closed military zone in an attempt to capture those responsible. A Hamas spokesman said that “an assassination attempt is cowardly, and only enemies of our people and homeland are capable of carrying out such an act.”

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh visiting Abu Naim in the hospital, today

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh visiting Abu Naim in the hospital, today Photo Credit: Channel 2 News

Abu Naim, who is a released Israeli security prisoner, is head of the Hamas security services – a position equivalent to the Israel Police commissioner and is run by the Palestinian Interior Ministry in the Gaza Strip. Recently, Abu Naim has become a prominent figure through his statements and tours along the border with Egypt where he oversees the establishment of an Egyptian-requested buffer zone. The buffer zone is intended to prevent the infiltration of terrorist operatives and the smuggling of weapons into the northern Sinai Peninsula.

Earlier this month, a reconciliation agreement was signed between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, under which the Gaza Strip’s civil control would be transferred to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ security services. However, since Hamas refused to disarm under the reconciliation agreement, it is unclear whether there is a connection between the attempt on Abu Naim’s life and issues of the Palestinian reconciliation agreement.