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Fatah blames Hamas for ‘assassination attempt’ on Palestinian PM

Rami Hamdallah was due to attend an opening ceremony on the Mediterranean shore

    Some vehicles in the Palestinian PM’s convoy were damaged
    Some vehicles in the Palestinian PM’s convoy were damaged (Photo: Twitter)

    The Palestinian Authority has held Hamas responsible for an explosion near the motorcade of Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah during a visit to Gaza.

    Mr Hamdallah and other senior officials were not hurt although there were reports of six injuries as a result of what the PA branded a deliberate assassination attempt.

    The incident came amid a fragile truce between Hamas and Fatah, the other main Palestinian faction that controls the PA.

    The explosion occurred shortly after 10 o’clock on Tuesday morning as Mr Hamdallah’s convoy entered the Gaza Strip from Israel through the Erez crossing.

    Footage from the scene indicates the explosion was caused by an improvised explosive device (IED) hidden by the side of the road about 250 metres from the crossing.

    Mr Hamdallah was en route to the opening ceremony of a new water desalination plant on Gaza’s shore. He continued according to schedule despite the attack.

    Under the Fatah-Hamas reconciliation agreement signed last year in Cairo, the Fatah-dominated PA was to regain security control of Gaza, but the deal has so far not been implemented due to ongoing disagreements between the two sides.

    A number of civilian projects in Gaza are proceeding under PA supervision, but visits by senior ministers like Mr Hamdallah are rare.

    A PA spokesman in Ramallah said shortly after the attack that it is holding Hamas responsible, but it was more likely that radical Salafist groups within Gaza who have been challenging Hamas’ control were responsible.

    Hamas claimed to have already arrested two suspects behind the attack.

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