Palestinian PM Hamdallah survives Gaza bomb attack

Islamic Jihad

The takeover installed a Hamas led government in Gaza, at odds with the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank.

The Prime Minister was not hurt in the incident in the Gaza Strip, which he rarely visits, according to The Independent. The prime minister entered Gaza along with Palestinian intelligence chief Majid Faraj at around 10 a.m. local time.

Hamas, in turn, condemned the attack on Hamdallah's convoy and called on the law enforcement agencies to find the perpetrators as soon as possible.

Nabil Shaath, the foreign affairs adviser of Abbas, told Sputnik in February that the intra-Palestinian reconciliation process had been put on hold as the Hamas movement had not yet relinquished administrative control over the Gaza Strip.

Witnesses said the bomb was planted under an electric pole on Gaza's main north-south road and went off shortly after Hamdallah's 20-vehicle convoy had entered through the Israeli-controlled crossing.

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah waves to the crowd upon his arrival in Gaza City on March 13, 2018.

'The Presidency holds Hamas responsible for the cowardly targeting of the Prime minister's motorcade in Gaza, ' read a post to Twitter by the Official Fatah account on Tuesday.

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Footage of the area shortly after the blast indicated that the bomb was small but it appeared timed to hit Mr Hamdallah's convoy.

Also, head of Fatah movement media office Munir al Gaghoub said that the attack seeks sabotaging all efforts for inter-Palestinian reconciliation.

The Hamas interior ministry confirmed there had been an explosion and said security forces were investigating the incident. "Hamdallah stressed that the attack against him 'will not prevent us from completing our work in the Strip, achieving national reconciliation".

Israel has maintained a blockade of Gaza since 2007, which it says is necessary to isolate Hamas, while Egypt has also kept its border with the enclave largely closed.

The Ramallah-based PA government led by Mahmoud Abbas has done little or nothing to help the Gazans over the past year, and plenty to exacerbate the situation.

The big conspiracy and the attempt to separate the Gaza Strip from the West Bank should not succeed, he stressed.

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.

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