Palestinian PM Hamdallah survives Gaza bomb attack

Clay Curtis
March 14, 2018

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Video footage of an explosion that targeted the Palestinian Prime Minister's convoy in the Gaza Strip Tuesday was circulated on social media hours after the government assured his survival. Hamdallah immediately returned to the West Bank after delivering the speech.

While Hamas did hand over control of Gaza's borders to the PA, it maintains full control of the rest of Gaza, with its police force and armed wing still operating throughout the territory.

Hamas said the attack was an attempt to damage Gaza's security and "deal a blow to efforts to finalise reconciliation" between the main Palestinian factions. A Hamas security official said multiple people had been arrested in connection with the explosion.

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.

This morning Hamdallah was the target of an assassination attempt with a bomb planted underground inside the blocked Palestinian enclave shortly after his convoy passed through the Erez border crossing, controlled by Israel.

A statement from Hamas condemned the attack, saying it was done by the "same hands" responsible for the assassination of one senior Hamas figure, Mazen Faqha, and the attempted assassination of another previous year. Hamas condemned the attack and vowed to launch an "urgent" investigation.

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah waves to the crowd upon his arrival in Gaza City on March 13, 2018. "We will still come to Gaza", he said.

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The Palestinian Authority intelligence chief was with Hamdallah when the explosion occurred.

While the Palestinian prime minister escaped the blast unscathed, six others were reportedly injured.

It said it would not derail Hamdallah's visit, which comes as reconciliation agreement between Hamas and Abbas's Fatah party falters.

"As you know, we are here today to consider ideas on how to address the humanitarian challenges in Gaza - a topic that has always been at the forefront of all of our minds", Greenblatt continued.

Again, Abbas and several PA officials had previously made similar charges against Hamas, accusing it of conspiring with "outside powers" to establish a separate Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip. He later left Gaza as scheduled in another convoy, with security men clutching automatic rifles standing along the side of his vehicle.

"Here is Gaza, we take all security precautions to welcome all the convoys and delegations and particularly the prime minister as he entered Gaza", Buzom was quoted as saying. Hamdallah survived without sustaining any injuries.

Photos appear to show three damaged vehicles with windows smashed.

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

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