Published: Wed, March 14, 2018
Global | By Shelia Dennis

Palestinian prime minister survives bomb blast

Palestinian prime minister survives bomb blast

Hamdallah and Faraj arrived on Tuesday morning from the West Bank city of Ramallah to the Gaza Strip through Erez crossing point on the borders between northern Gaza Strip and Israel. Hamdallah is reported to be unharmed after the blast.

'The Presidency holds Hamas responsible for the cowardly targeting of the Prime minister's motorcade in Gaza, ' read a post to Twitter by the Official Fatah account on Tuesday.

Hamas blamed Israel for an apparent assassination attempt on Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah shortly after he entered Gaza for the inauguration of a wastewater treatment plant.

The Palestinian prime minister says a blast that struck his convoy in Gaza will not disrupt attempts to reconcile with Hamas.

He said three vehicles had been damaged in the explosion, which blew out the windows of one of them.

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He had been expected to hold a number of other engagements before leaving. Minutes after the explosion, the PA held Hamas "fully responsible" for the assassination attempt. 'We will continue working until we return to Gaza and unify our ranks, ' he assured.

TRT World 's Muhannad Alami has more on this attack from Ramallah. Hamdallah himself was not injured in the blast, the responsibility for which the Palestinian National Authority attributed to the Hamas movement, which has been governing the Gaza Strip.

The Hamas militant group has condemned the Gaza explosion that targeted the convoy of visiting Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah.

The explosion, which has been denounced by the PA as a "cowardly assassination attempt" by Hamas, is seen as a severe blow to Egypt's ongoing efforts to persuade the two rival parties to implement the "reconciliation" deal they signed in Cairo late a year ago. Hamas-led security forces said they had launched an investigation.

Hamas criticised Abbas' accusation, saying it "achieved the goals of the criminals".

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Hamdallah was traveling to Gaza to dedicate a new water treatment plant as part of cooperation between Fatah and Hamas.

The explosion came a few hundred metres after Hamdallah's convoy crossed through the Palestinian Authority-run checkpoint into Hamas-controlled territory.

Hamas and Fateh signed a deal in October that was supposed to see the "Islamists hand" back power in Gaza, but it has all but collapsed. He also met with senior officials about stalled reconciliation talks between his group and Hamas.

But Hamas maintains full control of the rest of Gaza, with its police force and armed wing still operating throughout the territory.

Israel, with help from Egypt, has kept Gaza under a strict blockade for years, and conditions in Gaza have grown increasingly dire.

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