Explosion targets Palestinian PM's convoy during rare Gaza visit

Fishermen sit together on a fishing boat at a shore in Gaza City Gaza

Fishermen sit together on a fishing boat at a shore in Gaza City Gaza

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.

He said that it is high time that the global community work to end the suffering of Gaza residents and stop dealing with Israel as being above the law. In the past two months, the Egyptians have been working hard to prevent the downfall of the "reconciliation" agreement they helped secure late a year ago. Although there was no claim of responsibility, Palestinian officials accused Gaza militants of trying to assassinate Hamdallah.

But it's now hard to see how the Egyptians would be able to continue with their efforts, especially in wake of the war of words that erupted between Hamas and the PA after the explosion.

The Palestinians on Tuesday have largely condemned blowing up a roadside bomb as the convoy of vehicles of Prime Minister of the Palestinian consensus government Rami Hamdallah and chief of security intelligence service Majid Faraj passed by in northern Gaza Strip. Hamas governs Gaza, and the PA governs the West Bank.

Hamas has controlled Gaza since seizing it from the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority in 2007. While Hamas officials strenuously denied involvement, there are elements within the group that do not want to cede power and oppose the reconciliation process. One auto door also appears to have blood on it. Hamas-led security forces said they had launched a probe.

The explosion came a few hundred metres (yards) after Hamdallah's convoy entered into Hamas-controlled territory.

Hamas says that the speed with which the PA reacted to the explosion raised "big doubts".

Hamdallah described the bombing as an "assassination attempt". The PA has confirmed that Hamdallah was not injured. A source in the law enforcement agencies told Sputnik that members of jihadist groups, that have an ideology similar to that of the Daesh* terrorist group, might be behind the attack.

This, according to the sources, shows that the explosion was not aimed at harming anyone, but causing minor damage.

Israel has become more alarmed about the drastic situation in Gaza, and called an emergency meeting of donors in Brussels recently to try to rally funding for development projects — such as the new water-treatment plant that Hamdallah had been traveling to visit for a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Hamas then retreated to Gaza and set up a parallel government there.

Greenblatt - who alongside Jared Kushner was tasked by Trump with finding a way to resume stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks - said "we regret" that the Palestinian Authority boycotted the meeting. But there has been little enthusiasm from the global community, frustrated after years of little progress in Gaza.

Hamas' interior ministry has said an investigation into the "crime" is ongoing.

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