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Bomb targets Palestinian prime minister's convoy as it enters Gaza

13 March 2018, 12:51 | Devin Moran

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Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah waves as he arrives to hold a cabinet meeting in Gaza City October 3, 2017.

An explosion struck the convoy of the Palestinian prime minister on Tuesday as he was making a rare visit to Gaza, in what his Fatah party called an assassination attempt by Gaza militants.

The blast occurred shortly after the convoy entered Gaza, but no injuries were reported, said the sources. It promised an "urgent" investigation.

Hamas has controlled Gaza since seizing it from the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority in 2007.

A statement on official Palestinian media said president Mahmud Abbas considered it a "cowardly targeting" of Hamdallah's convoy and held his rivals Hamas responsible.




The incident comes amid a fragile reconciliation effort between the Fatah movement, which controls the Palestinian Authority, and Hamas. "We will continue to work diligently to complete our government projects in the Gaza Strip", the PM declared.

One of the key changes in that agreement was Hamas handing over control at Gaza's borders to the Palestinian Authority in November. It was the first tangible concession in years of Egyptian-brokered reconciliation talks.

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

Hamdallah's government is recognised by the global community, while Hamas is blacklisted as a terrorist organisation by the European Union and the United States. Radical Islamists opposed to Hamas also operate within the Gaza Strip and have regularly been behind unrest there. After treatment, the water will be transferred for irrigation and the remainder will be safely dumped to the sea.



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