Published: Wed, March 14, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Palestinian PM escapes Gaza explosion

Palestinian PM escapes Gaza explosion

Members of the Hamas security forces inspect the crater left at the site of an explosion that targeted the convoy of the Palestinian Prime Minister during his visit to the Gaza strip on March 13, 2018.

The explosion occurred shortly after the convoy entered Gaza through the Erez crossing with Israel, a security source in the convoy said.

The Prime Minister's convoy which also included the Palestinian Authority Security Chief, Majid Faraj, entered the checkpoint at 10 part of a planned visit to open a water treatment plant organised five months prior, according to sources speaking with the PNN. Hamas then retreated to Gaza and set up a parallel government there.

The prime minister's visit was planned almost five months ago to open a waste treatment plant which the Palestinian Authority helped finance.

He had been expected to hold a number of other engagements before leaving. We will still come to Gaza, " he said.

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The Palestinian prime minister says a blast that struck his convoy in Gaza will not disrupt attempts to reconcile with Hamas.

TRT World 's Muhannad Alami has more on this attack from Ramallah. Immediately after the attack, he said he would go ahead with the visit and it would "not deter from seeking to end the bitter split".

Hamas condemned the attack, calling it a crime and an attempt to "hurt efforts to achieve unity and reconciliation".

A senior Egyptian security delegation has been in Gaza for several weeks holding talks between the two sides to bridge the gaps and resolve the outstanding issues that block the implementation of the reconciliation deal.

Hamas blamed the killing of Faqha on "Israel". "They planted explosive devices two meters deep".

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The explosion, he added, was also aimed at foiling the "reconciliation" agreement that was reached between his ruling Fatah faction and Hamas in Cairo late a year ago.

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.

The World Bank, European Union and other European governments have paid almost $75 million in funding.

'The Presidency holds Hamas responsible for the cowardly targeting of the Prime minister's motorcade in Gaza, ' read a post to Twitter by the Official Fatah account on Tuesday.

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.

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Hamas has controlled Gaza since seizing it from the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority in 2007. In the video below, the blast hits at the 42 second mark.

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