Underworld boss Bilal Hamze has been farewelled at a funeral six days after he was gunned down in an execution-style murder shortly after leaving a Japanese restaurant in Sydney’s CBD.
About 100 mourners gathered in Lakemba to farewell the cousin of Brothers 4 Life gang leader Bassam Hamzy, who is serving time for murder in Goulburn Supermax Jail.
Among those attending was Bilal Hamze’s mother, Maha Hamze, whose home was sprayed with bullets in February – one of which nearly hit a nurse caring for a patient at Auburn Hospital.
A dozen men dressed in dark, hooded jumpers, masks and tracksuit pants carried the green coffin from the Lebanese Muslim Association up the stairs of Lakemba Mosque for an Islamic prayer.
A group of women dressed in burqas followed the procession into a separate entrance amid a police presence of 100 officers spread across surrounding streets.
Ahmed Elomar, who is the brother of slain Islamic State terrorist Mohamed Elomar, asked the media “what was going on?” as he left the gym next door in his white ute.
Bilal Hamze, 34, was leaving Kid Kyoto with a group of people when he was shot several times and hit the footpath on Bridge Street last Thursday night.
Witnesses described seeing a pool of blood before he was put into an ambulance and taken to St Vincent’s Hospital, where he died from critical injuries.
Detectives say they had warned Mr Hamze that his life was at risk in the months before his death, with a bounty on his head.
His cousin, Mejid Hamzy, was shot dead outside his Condell Park home in October at a time when detectives were concerned about an ongoing feud with a rival family, the Alameddines.
Hours before his murder, Rifat Alameddine’s home at Merrylands was targeted, but he escaped injury.
Four months later, Maha Hamze’s townhouse in Auburn was peppered with bullets, and the family matriarch was seriously injured in a drive-by at the same property in 2013.
There have been several shootings targeting Alameddine family members over recent months, but no-one has been killed.
The ongoing feud resulted in sweeping orders aimed at ensuring public safety – preventing rival family members from visiting certain parts of Sydney.
The Serious Crime Prevention Orders also stop them from communicating with each other as Strike Force Raptor – the state’s anti-bikie squad – was beefed up in February.
Come July, there will be 115 full-time officers working to quell tensions between rival crime families and emerging street gangs operating across Sydney.
Bilal Hamze will be buried at Rockwood Cemetery.