Hamas condemns attack on Palestinian PM's convoy in Gaza

Isaac Cain
March 14, 2018

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The prime minister called for Hamas to allow his government to take control in Gaza. Although there was no claim of responsibility, Palestinian officials accused Gaza militants of trying to assassinate Hamdallah.

However, suspicion of Hamas involvement was running high. Footage of the area shortly after the blast indicated that the bomb was small but it appeared timed to hit Mr Hamdallah's convoy.

The Palestinians were enraged by President Donald Trump's decision to break with longstanding U.S. policy by recognising Jerusalem as Israel's capital and have refused to meet with his peace envoys since. They were due to open a sewage treatment works in Gaza, financed by the PA. "Wishing a speedy recovery to the injured", Greenblatt tweeted. 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.

Greenblatt - who alongside Jared Kushner was tasked by Trump with finding a way to resume stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks - said "we regret" that the Palestinian Authority boycotted the meeting.

An explosion went off as Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah's convoy entered the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, wounding seven people, a security source and witnesses said.

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The plant has been funded by the World Bank, backed by governments within Europe and the European Union, as a lack of safe drinking water is a serious issue in the Gaza Strip. It promised an "urgent" investigation.

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

"The other is Tawfik Tirawi, who, at the time of the establishment of the PA, was the chief of Palestinian intelligence in the West Bank, and who maintains his power in the Fatah movement as Abbas' security adviser".

The United Nations Mideast envoy also condemned the attack.

The "grave incident must be promptly investigated and the perpetrators brought to justice", Mladenov said.

Hamas seized Gaza from the Fateh-dominated Palestinian Authority (PA) in a 2007 near civil war and multiple attempts at reconciliation have since failed.

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