PA blames Hamas after explosion targets Palestinian PM entering Gaza

  • PA blames Hamas after explosion targets Palestinian PM entering Gaza

PA blames Hamas after explosion targets Palestinian PM entering Gaza

Rami Hamdallah's convoy had just entered the territory run by Islamist movement Hamas when the explosion took place, a security source in the convoy said.

Minutes after the blast, Hamdallah, appearing unhurt, delivered a speech at the inauguration of a waste treatment plant in the Gaza Strip, live TV footage showed.

Three of the vehicles in his convoy were damaged, their windows blown out. Gunfire was reported shortly after the explosion.

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

It is Hamdallah's second visit to the Gaza Strip since the signing of an Egyptian-brokered "reconciliation" agreement between the West Bank's governing Fatah faction and Gaza's Hamas rulers late past year.

The Palestinian prime minister was targeted in an explosion during a visit to the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, sparking fears of an assassination attempt.

The PA said it condemned the bombing and holds Hamas responsible. Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip in 2007.

Hamas called the attack an "ugly crime" and said it had launched an investigation.

"The attack against the government of consensus is an attack against the unity of the Palestinian people", said Nabil Abu Rdainah, a spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

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