Explosion reported near Palestinian PM's convoy during Gaza visit

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah arrives in the northern Gaza Strip on Oct. 3 2017. A convoy carrying Hamdalah was hit by an explosion

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah arrives in the northern Gaza Strip on Oct. 3 2017. A convoy carrying Hamdalah was hit by an explosion

An explosion targeted Palestinian prime minister Rami Hamdallah's convoy as he arrived in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday for a rare visit, lightly wounding seven people, officials and witnesses said. No one was injured and security services had begun an investigation, ministry spokesman Eyad Al-Bozom said.

"The Palestinian Presidency holds Hamas responsible for the cowardly targeting of the Prime Minister's convoy in Gaza", the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.

Greenblatt reportedly said that the conference will focus on ideas to enhance the Gaza Strip's economy and living conditions, and urged Islamic Hamas movement running the coastal enclave since 2007 to give up armed resistance and commit to peace negotiations.

A statement from Hamas condemned the attack, saying it was done by the "same hands" responsible for the assassination of one senior Hamas figure, Mazen Faqha, and the attempted assassination of another previous year.

Hamdallah is based in West Bank, and was in Gaza to inaugurate a sewage plant.

The attack could adversely affect the ongoing process of reconciliation between Hamas and the Fatah, which was brokered by Egypt. Hamas has been controlling Gaza Strip since 2007 after ousting forces loyal to Abbas.


The incident took place amid heightened tensions between the main Palestinian factions over the implementation of a reconciliation deal signed previous year.

One of the key changes in that agreement was Hamas handing over control at Gaza's borders to the Palestinian Authority in November.

Mr Hamdallah and Hamas leaders were due to meet an Egyptian security delegation during this visit to discuss ways to overcome their differences.

The World Bank, European Union and other European governments have paid almost $75 million in funding. "We will continue to work diligently to complete our government projects in the Gaza Strip", the PM declared.

The Palestinians were enraged by President Donald Trump's decision to break with longstanding U.S. policy by recognising Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

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