Pales­tinian PM sur­vives Gaza bomb at­tack

Arab News - - FRONT PAGE - HAZEM BALOUSHA

GAZA: The Pales­tinian prime min­is­ter on Tues­day sur­vived an at­tack on his con­voy as he made a rare visit to Gaza.

The bomb went off near the main cross­ing from Is­rael shortly af­ter Rami Ham­dal­lah’s del­e­ga­tion en­tered the ter­ri­tory.

The at­tack in­jured six of his guards, badly dam­aged two of the ve­hi­cles and blew a hole in the fal­ter­ing rec­on­cil­i­a­tion process be­tween the ri­val Fatah and Ha­mas fac­tions.

Ha­mas, which con­trols Gaza, signed a deal in Oc­to­ber with Fatah, the main power in the West Bank and the party of Pales­tinian Pres­i­dent Mah­moud Ab­bas.

The agree­ment was meant to pass full con­trol of Gaza back to the Pales­tinian Au­thor­ity. But so far only se­cu­rity at Gaza’s bor­der cross­ings has been handed to of­fi­cials from the au­thor­ity. Tues­day’s at­tack risked a flare up in ten­sions be­tween the fac­tions. Some Fatah of­fi­cials blamed Ha­mas for the se­cu­rity breach.

Af­ter the at­tack, Ham­dal­lah con­tin­ued to the open­ing cer­e­mony of a new waste­water treat­ment plant.

“What hap­pened is a dis­grace­ful act and will only in­crease our de­ter­mi­na­tion to serve the Gaza Strip,” Ha­madal­lah said, shortly be­fore leav­ing Gaza.

He had planned to visit Ha­mas of­fi­cials but cut the visit short.

Ha­mas con­demned the at­tack, ac­cus­ing “Is­rael and its agents” of car­ry­ing it out.

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