Roadside bomb targets Palestinian prime minister's convoy entering Gaza

Roadside bomb targets Palestinian prime minister's convoy entering Gaza

Majed Faraj, the Palestinian Authority intelligence chief, was part of the convoy.

Pictures form the scene showed three vehicles were damaged with their windows blown out and streaks of blood on a auto door. Hamdallah himself was not injured in the blast, the responsibility for which the Palestinian National Authority attributed to the Hamas movement, which has been governing the Gaza Strip.

The PA said it held the Gaza's dominant Hamas group responsible for the attack, stopping short of directly accusing it of carrying out the assault, but suggesting it had failed to provide adequate security.

It is worth mentioning that the Egyptian security delegation left the Gaza Strip shortly after the explosions took place, apparently to consult with the leadership in Cairo.

But Fatah quickly held Gaza's Islamic Hamas rulers responsible for the "cowardly attack" on the convoy, further escalating tensions between the bitter rival factions. One had signs of blood on the door, while the others had their windows blown out.

While not recognized as an independent state, Gaza is cut off both from Israel and neighboring Egypt. Gazans receive funding from the Palestinian Authority, which does not control the Strip. The second attack, an explosion targeting Hamas' head of security in Gaza, is widely believed to have been the work of extremists.

Erez Crossing is a border crossing on the Israel-Gaza barrier at the northern end of the Gaza Strip.

PLO Executive Committee member Ahmad Majdalani told the Voice of Palestine radio station that the crisis in Gaza is political, not humanitarian, and is the fault of Israel, the Times of Israel reports.

After a five-month absence, and also under pressure from Egyptian diplomats, Hamdallah made a decision to return to Gaza on Tuesday in an attempt to restart reconciliation talks with Hamas.

The Palestinian Authority has accused militants in Gaza of trying to kill Hamdallah. "What happened today will not stop us from continuing reconciliation efforts".

Key services have been suspended in recent weeks in three hospitals and 16 medical centres as crippling fuel shortages meant generators were unable to function, said the health ministry in Gaza.

The United Nations Mideast envoy also condemned the attack.

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