Bomb Targets Palestinian Authority PM's Convoy as It Enters Gaza

Bomb Targets Palestinian Authority PM's Convoy as It Enters Gaza

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah on Tuesday escaped unhurt after an explosion targeted his convoy when it entered the Gaza Strip.

Hamas condemned President Mahmoud Abbas for blaming it for the blast, and Abbas' security chief, Majed Farraj, said it was "too early" to say who was responsible.

He said that despite the attack he remained committed to Palestinian unity and would continue to come to Gaza.

Hussein Al-Shaikh, member of Abbas' Fatah party, said in a press statement that "the grave criminal act is an unprecedented act and will have grave consequences".

The Hamas interior ministry confirmed there had been an explosion and said they had arrested three suspects as they began an investigation.

The incident comes amid a fragile reconciliation effort between the Fatah movement, which controls the Palestinian Authority, and Hamas. Radical Islamists opposed to Hamas also operate within the Gaza Strip and have regularly been behind unrest there.

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The incident took place amid heightened tensions between the main Palestinian factions over the implementation of a reconciliation deal signed past year.

Mr Hamdallah went on to appear at an event to open a water treatment plant.

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.

Mr Hamdallah and Hamas leaders were due to meet an Egyptian security delegation during this visit to discuss ways to overcome their differences.

The World Bank, European Union and other European governments have paid almost US$75 million (NZ$102 million) in funding.

The Palestinians were enraged by President Donald Trump's decision to break with longstanding USA policy by recognising Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

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