Masked men shot and killed the head of the Palestinian riot police in his car Monday morning, witnesses and media reports said.
The victim was identified as Col. Rajeh Abu Lihyeh, 47, a former aide to the ex-Gaza police chief, Ghazi Jabali. The body was taken to Shifa Hospital in Gaza City.
Sources noted that Abu Lihyeh was involved in the past in the brutal crushing of Hamas riots in the Gaza Strip.
Hours after the assassination of Abu Lihyeh, four activists of Hamas were killed in clashes with Palestinian police in central Gaza. Two dead were named as Mahmud al-Borno, 27, and Mohammed Hejazi, 30. More than 30 people were injured when the clashes erupted after Hamas supporters started stoning a police patrol in the center of the city.
Hamas denied it was involved in the torturing and killing of Abu Lihyeh. "Hamas does not know what happened this morning and the only plausible explanation, which police are already aware of, is that it was revenge by the Akel family," Abdel Aziz Rantissi, a political leader of the group in the Gaza Strip, told AFP. (Albawaba.com)