Published: Wed, March 14, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Palestinian Prime Minister's Convoy Attacked In Gaza

Palestinian Prime Minister's Convoy Attacked In Gaza

"It is too early to accuse anyone, but those who are in charge shoulder the full responsibility for security on the ground", he is quoted as saying, a reference to Hamas, which was responsible for securing Hamdallah's visit. "This is a very serious crisis, and it will take time to heal the wound".

Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah had just arrived from his West Bank headquarters to attend a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new water-treatment plant when the bomb went off Tuesday.

However, suspicion of Hamas involvement was running high.

Nickolay Mladenov, the UN's special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, condemned the attack and said in a Twitter post those behind it seek to "undermine" reconciliation.

Palestinian intelligence chief Majid Faraj was part of the convoy but was also unhurt, the security source said.

The explosive device was detonated shortly after Hamdallah and his convoy passed through the Beit Hanoun checkpoint in northern Gaza, reported Al Jazeera.

He insisted "this incident won't stop us from our work in Gaza and won't stop us from the reconciliation".

Hamas' police force and armed wing, which the U.S. and the European Union consider a terrorist organization, continues to have full control of the rest of Gaza.

Turkey on Tuesday condemned the attack against the convoy of Palestinian premier in blockaded Gaza Strip.

The place where the blast hit is near the spot where a USA diplomatic convoy was blown up by a remote-controlled bomb in 2003 shortly after it entered the Gaza Strip.

Two vehicles were badly damaged and could not continue while at least four others were damaged, with windows or sunroofs blown out.

The reports claimed that the convoy had also been attacked with gunfire.

"It was a well planned attempt".

However, against the backdrop of an economic crisis in Gaza, Hamas has handed back control of its border crossings to the PA. The Palestinian Authority may impose more punitive measures against the Gaza Strip, and it is imperative that Hamas captures those behind the attack as soon as possible.

Hamdallah also said: "We will not allow those with a foreign political agenda to dictate to us what happens in Gaza". Haniyeh phoned Hamdallah after the explosion and the two agreed to "blame Israel and its collaborators" for being behind the explosion, according to a statement issued by the Hamas leader's office.

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