Explosion targets Palestinian PM's convoy as it enters Gaza Strip

Explosion as Palestinian PM Hamdallah enters Gaza Strip

Explosion as Palestinian PM Hamdallah enters Gaza Strip

People flee the scene after a bomb attack on Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah's convoy in Gaza.

Palestinian Prime Minister Ramy Hamdallah on Tuesday survived an explosion that targeted his convoy during his visit to the Gaza Strip, the Interior Ministry said.

Hamdallah was not injured in the explosion, which occurred shortly after his convoy entered the territory run by Islamist movement Hamas, a security source in the convoy said. It promised an "urgent" investigation.

A statement on official Palestinian media said president Mahmoud Abbas considered it a "cowardly targeting" of Hamdallah's convoy and held Hamas responsible.

Hamdallah is based in West Bank, and was in Gaza to inaugurate a sewage plant.

The rival factions have been trying to reconcile since 2007 when Hamas seized control of Gaza from Fatah forces and have suffered several setbacks in their efforts since. "We will still come to Gaza".

The top Palestinian Authority officials made the rare trip from the West Bank for the inauguration of a desalination plant.

One of the key changes in that agreement was Hamas handing over control at Gaza's borders to the Palestinian Authority in November. But negotiations have bogged down since then.

The Washington Post reported last Thursday that U.S. President Donald Trump's Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt said the White House will hold a conference this week to look into saving the situation in Gaza.

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.

Hamas has ruled Gaza since it ousted the Fatah-led PA in 2007. After treatment, the water will be transferred for irrigation and the remainder will be safely dumped to the sea.

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