Palestinian PM Returns to Ramallah after Attack in Gaza

14 March, 2018, 06:30 | Author: Kim Reid
  • Palestinians reject US invitation to discuss Gaza humanitarian crisis

The Palestinian Authority said it was an assassination attempt and that it held the militant Hamas movement, which dominates Gaza, responsible, the Al Jazeera reported. In his statements he asked the Hamas movement, which is still in control in the Gaza Strip, to comply with the national reconciliation agreements reached in 2017 in Cairo, which stipulate that the Government in the Gaza Strip must pass completely to the National Palestinian Authority.

Rami Hamdallah, the Prime Minister of the Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority, had just entered Gaza when a roadside explosive detonated near his convoy.

Hamdallah immediately returned to the West Bank after delivering the speech, vowing to continue reconciliation efforts with rival Palestinian group Hamas in Gaza. It also cast a shadow over a special White House meeting where worldwide donor nations were set to discuss the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza.

The explosion came a few hundred metres (yards) after Hamdallah's convoy entered into Hamas-controlled territory.

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Iyad al-Buzom, Gaza's interior ministry spokesperson, said the act of placing blame "has a political dimension", Al Jazeera quoted.

An explosion has struck the convoy of the Palestinian prime minister during a rare visit to Gaza, sparking fears of an assassination attempt. "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. Hamas has condemned Trump's recent moves to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and to move the U.S. Embassy to the city.

Hamdallah and P.A. intelligence chief Majid Faraj were not injured in the explosion, which wounded several others.

There was no immediately claim of responsibility for the attack, which Hamas has condemned.

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Hamdallah, who operated in the West Bank, arrived in Hamas-run Gaza to inaugurate a long-awaited sewage plant project.

The humanitarian crisis in Gaza, exacerbated by an Israeli and Egyptian blockade, has grown swiftly worse under the measures, as water treatment plants, hospitals, and other critical infrastructure have had to shut down or reduce services. But the Palestinian Authority has never fully removed a series of punitive measures against Gaza meant to weaken Hamas, including limiting electricity to the coastal enclave and cutting salaries.

A picture taken on March 13, 2018 shows one of the cars of the Palestinian Prime Minister's convoy that was hit by an explosion being towed away to the Gaza strip Erez crossing.

He said three vehicles had been damaged in the explosion, which blew out the windows of one of them.

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Hamas seized Gaza from the PA in a near civil war in 2007 and multiple attempts at reconciliation have since failed.

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