Explosion damages part of Palestinian prime minister's convoy to Gaza

Palestinian PM survives Gaza assassination attempt

Palestinian PM survives Gaza assassination attempt

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah survived an apparent assassination attempt on Tuesday after a roadside bomb went off near his 20-vehicle convoy, shortly after entering the Gaza strip.

Hamdallah, who was not hurt, left the Hamas-run territory through the Erez crossing shortly after opening a wastewater treatment facility, the source said. In a statement, Hamas said the targeting of Hamdallah's motorcade was "part of attempt to damage the security of Gaza and deal a blow to efforts to finalise reconciliation".

Fatah, the West Bank-based political party to which Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas belongs, called the incident a "terrorist attack" and blamed it on Hamas.

Hamdallah said that his government is ready to meet all needs in the Gaza Strip as it is doing in the West Bank.

The explosion came hours before the White House was due to hold a summit on the humanitarian situation in Gaza.

Another senior official, Tawfiq Abu Naim, said "whoever who did this only serves the [Israeli] occupation and is doing what the occupation demands".

The Palestinians were enraged by President Donald Trump's decision to break with longstanding U.S. policy by recognising Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Majed Faraj, the Palestinian Authority intelligence chief, was part of the convoy.

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Even though Trump won the area by more than 20 percentage points two years, the Saccone-Lamb race is considered too close to call. Trump also said he hoped to run for reelection against Democrat Oprah Winfrey, although the entertainer has ruled out a run.

A statement from Hamas also condemned the attack but likewise condemned the response from Palestinian Authority.

The Hamas militant group has condemned the Gaza explosion that targeted the convoy of visiting Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah. 'We will continue working until we return to Gaza and unify our ranks, ' he assured. "Until the legitimate Palestinian Authority is fully empowered in Gaza, Hamas has the responsibility to ensure that the government is able to carry out its work in the strip without fear of intimidation, harassment and violence", he said.

Three of the vehicles in the convoy were damaged, some with windows blown out and airbags deployed.

However, against the backdrop of an economic crisis in Gaza, Hamas has handed back control of its border crossings to the PA.

Hamas seized power of Gaza in 2007, and repeated attempts to reconcile with the Palestinian Authority have failed or stalled. One is Tayeb Abdul Rahim, the secretary general of the government headed by Arafat, and today the secretary general of Abbas' bureau (and also a native of Anabta, like Hamdallah).

The World Bank, European Union and other European governments have paid almost $75 million in funding.

Hamas has fought three wars with Israel and Gaza has suffered from a devastating Israeli and Egyptian blockade.

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