Published: Tue, March 13, 2018
Global | By Marsha Munoz

Blast targets Palestinian PM's convoy during rare Gaza visit

Blast targets Palestinian PM's convoy during rare Gaza visit

An explosion went off Tuesday morning near a convoy carrying Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, who is visiting the Gaza Strip.

The Palestinian Authority has accused militants in Gaza of trying to kill Hamdallah. One had signs of blood on the door.

In a statement, Hamas called Tuesday's blast a "crime" and said it was an attempt to "hurt efforts to achieve unity and reconciliation". It promised an "urgent" investigation.

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Top official of the left wing Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine Kayed Al-ghoul told Xinhua that the White House "is aiming at reestablishing the US role in managing the Palestinian-Israeli conflict by its various dimensions", and added that "Washington wants to use the conference as a blackmail tool against the Palestinian Authority and Hamas to make the Palestinians accept the liquidation project of the century deal".

"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.

The prime minister is based in the occupied West Bank and travelled overland, via Israel, to the Gaza Strip.

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Hamdallah appeared on television shortly after the explosion as he opened a wastewater treatment plant in the territory, but left shortly after - cutting short his visit, a source in his delegation said.

It is Hamdallah's second visit to the Gaza Strip since the signing of an Egyptian-brokered "reconciliation" agreement between the West Bank's governing Fatah faction and Gaza's Hamas rulers late previous year.

The plant in question was envisioned in 2007 after overburdened sewage reservoirs collapsed, killing five villagers.

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