Hamas condemns Gaza attack targeting Palestinian Prime Minister Hamdallah


An explosion went off Tuesday morning near a convoy carrying Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, who is visiting the Gaza Strip.

Media reports said Hamdallah was unhurt, but several bystanders were injured.

"The attack on the Prime Minister's convoy is an attack on the unity of the Palestinian people", he said. Hamas security forces then sealed off the area.

While President Mahmoud Abbas blamed Hamas for the blast, his security chief Majed Farraj, who was in the convoy, said it was "too early" to say who was responsible.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility. Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip in 2007.

Hamdallah was not hurt and a short time later attended the inauguration of a sewage plant.

He had been expected to hold a number of other engagements before leaving.

Hamas criticised Abbas's accusation, saying it "achieved the goals of the criminals".

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Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank have been ruled separately since a rift between Hamas and Mr Abbas's Fatah faction erupted in violence in 2007.

Two cars with blown-out windows were being removed from the scene of the explosion shortly afterwards, an AFP correspondent reported.

In November, Hamas handed over control of Gaza's border crossings to the Palestinian Authority.

The future of that armed wing, which has fought three wars with Israel since 2008, has proved one of the largest sticking points in implementing the reconciliation agreement.

He was also met with senior Hamas officials to discuss reconciliation talks between Hamas and the PA.

The World Bank, European Union and other European governments have paid almost US$75 million (NZ$102 million) in funding. "We will continue to work diligently to complete our government projects in the Gaza Strip", the PM declared.

The ties between Palestine and the United States have been witnessing rising tensions since last October, and peaked when U.S. President Donald Trump recognized on December 6, 2017 Jerusalem as a capital of Israel and ordered the moving of the U.S. embassy to the city.