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Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah survives assassination attempt in Gaza

14 March, 2018, 06:28 | Author: Kristen Ingram
  • Israeli Orthodox Jews put on their Jewish tefillin leather straps and boxes containing sacred parchments ahead of prayer at the Byzantine-era Shalom Al Israel synagogue known to Palestinians as the

Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah's vehicle convoy was damaged by an exploding bomb on Tuesday while entering Gaza.

Shortly afterwards, he returned to Ramallah where he gave a brief address outside his office. The hands behind this crime are the same hands that killed Mazen Fuqaha (ed: "commander of Hamas military wing killed previous year in Gaza) and tried to kill General Tawfiq Abu Naim". "What happened today will not stop us from continuing reconciliation efforts".

Arab nations that don't formally speak to Israel joined Israeli officials and others at the White House on Tuesday for an unusual meeting on the dire humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip. Hamas-led security forces said they had launched an investigation. "Wishing a speedy recovery to the injured", Greenblatt said.

A statement on official Palestinian media said PA President Mahmoud Abbas considered the incident a "cowardly targeting" of Hamdallah's convoy meant to scupper attempts to achieve Palestinian unity, adding that Abbas held Hamas responsible.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

In his return, Hamdallah assured that all evidence points to the fact that the attack on his convoy had been well prepared, with the bomb that exploded buried in the road through which he entered Gaza this morning.

The Palestinian Authority said it held the enclave's dominant Hamas group responsible for the attack, stopping short of directly accusing the group of carrying out the assault, but suggesting it had failed to provide adequate security.

In the West Bank, Abbas blamed Hamas for the blast. But the Palestinians have essentially cut off ties to the White House, furious over Trump's move a year ago to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and move the U.S. Embassy there from Tel Aviv.

Six security guards had been wounded, Hamdallah said shortly after the attack.


Hamas and Fatah, the two main Palestinian political parties, signed a reconciliation agreement in October 2017, ending a decade of division that saw two parallel governments operating in Gaza and the West Bank, respectively.

Mladenov says Tuesday's blast was carried out by people trying to undermine reconciliation and "destroy the chances for peace".

Radical Islamists opposed to Hamas also operate within the Gaza Strip and have regularly been behind unrest.

Assassination attempt in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip has thrown a wrench into peace talks between rival Palestinian factions. "When the dust cleared, I saw people running everywhere, and police were running around", said a witness who declined to be identified because of security concerns.

Hamdallah, who was not hurt, left Gaza and was headed back to the West Bank.

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah (2nd from right) is escorted by bodyguards in Gaza City.


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