Published: Wed, March 14, 2018

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah's convoy hit by explosion

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah's convoy hit by explosion

And, everything we do must be done in a way that ensures we do not put the security of Israelis and Egyptians at risk - and that we do not inadvertently empower Hamas, which bears responsibility for Gaza's suffering.

Discussions on ways to improve conditions in Gaza, and stimulate the local economy, were due to take place at the White House on Tuesday.

Iyad al-Buzom, Gaza's interior ministry spokesperson, said the act of placing blame "has a political dimension", Al Jazeera quoted.

Hamdallah, who'd visited Gaza for the opening of a waste treatment facility, returned shortly after the attack.

The prime minister, Rami Hamdallah, wasn't hurt in what officials described as an assassination attempt, but at least seven members of the convoy were injured in the blast, Palestinian Authority officials said.

A convoy including Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah was hit by an explosion this morning (March 13).

Hamas condemned the attack, calling it a crime and an attempt to "hurt efforts to achieve unity and reconciliation".

The attack may put a strain on the already-fragile talks between Hamas and the ruling party Fatah, who in recent months, have been engaged in renewed reconciliation efforts to end a rift between them following the 2006 general elections in the Palestinian territories in which Hamas won and was shortly after ousted by Fatah in a USA and Israeli backed coup.

Hamas has condemned Mr Trump's recent moves to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital, and to move the US Embassy to the city.

The PA's rhetorical onslaught on Hamas is also created to send a message to the Palestinian public that the terror group that rules the Gaza Strip is not interested in ending the dispute with Fatah.

Mladenov says Tuesday's blast was carried out by people trying to undermine reconciliation and "destroy the chances for peace". "Gazans have been brought to the brink of collapse by Hamas, PIJ & other extremist groups", he wrote.

One of the key changes in that agreement was Hamas handing over control at Gaza's borders to the Palestinian Authority in November. A Hamas security official said multiple people had been arrested in connection with the explosion.

Echoing a message of defiance made popular by Yasser Arafat, Hamdallah declared: "Those who do not like the idea of me being here should go and drink from the Gaza seawater".

Soon after the explosion, senior Palestinian Authority officials contacted Yoav Mordechai, the Israeli coordinator of government activities in the territories, to coordinate envoy's departure from the Gaza strip.

Two cars with blown-out windows were removed from the scene of the explosion shortly afterwards, an AFP correspondent reported.

In his speech while inaugurating a sanitary water recycling plant in the strip, he added that he will return to the strip once again despite the blast that targeted his motorcade earlier in the day.

Hamdallah was in Gaza to cut the ribbon at a $75 million sewage plant project funded by The World Bank, European Union and other European governments that had been in the works for years.

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