Explosion strikes Palestinian PM Rami Hamdallah's convoy in Gaza

Islamic Jihad

The Palestinian Authority has accused militants in Gaza of trying to kill Hamdallah.

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.

The PA said it condemned the bombing and holds Hamas responsible.

President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the "cowardly" attack on the convoy and said he held the militant group Hamas, which dominates Gaza, responsible.

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah was unharmed and went on to inaugurate a long-awaited sewage plant project in the northern part of the strip.

The White House is due to hold a conference on the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Gaza on Tuesday, but it is unclear whether any Palestinian officials will break their boycott of U.S. officials to attend.

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".

In November, Hamas handed over control of Gaza's border crossings to the Palestinian Authority. But negotiations have bogged down since then.

Hamdallah's government is recognised by the worldwide community, while Hamas is blacklisted as a terrorist organisation by the European Union and the United States. Hamas' takeover of Gaza from the Palestinian Authority in 2007 and the ensuing Israeli-Egyptian blockade, power shortages and conflicts delayed the opening of the project for four years. After treatment, the water will be transferred for irrigation and the remainder will be safely dumped to the sea.



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