Explosion targets Palestinian PM's convoy during rare Gaza visit


A roadside bomb struck the convoy of the Palestinian prime minister during a rare visit to the Gaza Strip, causing no serious injuries but throwing an already troubled reconciliation process between rival factions into deeper turmoil. Three cars in the convoy also were damaged. The prime minister entered Gaza along with Palestinian intelligence chief Majid Faraj at around 10 a.m. local time.

A resident of the Gaza Strip recorded the explosion that targeted the convoy of Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah while he was visiting Gaza.

Hamas denied any connection to the explosion and said it had launched an investigation. "We need to find the full truth, and who is behind this attack".

"The attack against the government of consensus is an attack against the unity of the Palestinian people", said Nabil Abu Rdainah, a spokesman for Abbas.

Hamdallah, a soft-spoken former university dean appointed by President Mahmoud Abbas five years ago, went on to inaugurate the long-awaited sewage plant project.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility. "We will still come to Gaza". The second attack, an explosion targeting Hamas' head of security in Gaza, is widely believed to have been the work of extremists. Since then, Hamas has ruled the Gaza Strip while the Fatah Party have governed the West Bank, which is occupied by Israel.

Haaretz noted Hamdallah's rise in stature could be attributed to his close ties with "two of the strongmen in Fatah and in the coterie of the late PA Chairman Yasser Arafat".

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

"It was a well planned attempt". "They planted explosive devices two meters deep".

The Palestinian Authority, which is backed by the United States and Europe, described the explosion as an assassination attempt and quickly blamed Hamas.

The meeting, convened by White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, brought almost two dozen nations and worldwide organizations together.

"I am so glad that all of you have put tensions aside to try to help - we should all be proud of that and build on that", President Donald Trump's peace envoy Jason Greenblatt said in his opening remarks, according to text released by the White House.

Palestinian officials said that Abbas cut short his visit to Jordan and returned to Ramallah upon learning about the incident.