Middle East

Former Palestinian prisoner found shot dead in Gaza

  • Masked gunmen from the Qassam brigade,  the militia wing of Hamas, carry the body of Mazen Faqha, during his funeral in Gaza City, Saturday, March, 25, 2017. The former Palestinian prisoner whom Israel sent to Gaza after his release was found shot dead at the entrance of his house in Gaza City. (AP Photo/ Khalil Hamra)

    Masked gunmen from the Qassam brigade, the militia wing of Hamas, carry the body of Mazen Faqha, during his funeral in Gaza City, Saturday, March, 25, 2017. The former Palestinian prisoner whom Israel sent to Gaza after his release was found shot dead at the entrance of his house in Gaza City. (AP Photo/ Khalil Hamra)  (The Associated Press)

  • Masked gunmen from the Qassam brigade, the militia wing of Hamas, attend the funeral of Mazen Faqha, in Gaza City, Saturday, March, 25, 2017. The former Palestinian prisoner whom Israel sent to Gaza after his release was found shot dead at the entrance of his house in Gaza City. (AP Photo/ Khalil Hamra)

    Masked gunmen from the Qassam brigade, the militia wing of Hamas, attend the funeral of Mazen Faqha, in Gaza City, Saturday, March, 25, 2017. The former Palestinian prisoner whom Israel sent to Gaza after his release was found shot dead at the entrance of his house in Gaza City. (AP Photo/ Khalil Hamra)  (The Associated Press)

  • Masked gunmen from the Qassam brigade, the militia wing of Hamas, attend the funeral of Mazen Faqha in Gaza City, Saturday, March, 25, 2017. The former Palestinian prisoner whom Israel sent to Gaza after his release was found shot dead at the entrance of his house in Gaza City. (AP Photo/ Khalil Hamra)

    Masked gunmen from the Qassam brigade, the militia wing of Hamas, attend the funeral of Mazen Faqha in Gaza City, Saturday, March, 25, 2017. The former Palestinian prisoner whom Israel sent to Gaza after his release was found shot dead at the entrance of his house in Gaza City. (AP Photo/ Khalil Hamra)  (The Associated Press)

A former Palestinian prisoner who Israel sent to Gaza after his release has been found shot dead at the entrance of his house in Gaza City.

Mazen Faqha belonged to Hamas, the Islamic militant group that rules Gaza.

Hamas says Faqha was shot four times in the head with a silenced gun late Friday. It blamed Israel for "assassinating" him, but provided no proof to support that accusation.

Faqha was sentenced to nine terms of life imprisonment for directing suicide bombing attacks against Israelis.

He was freed along with more than 1,000 other prisoners as part of an exchange in 2011 that released captive Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit. Faqha was among dozens of West Bank residents Israel deported to Gaza or elsewhere because of the severity of their crimes.