Palestinian prime minister escapes injury in Gaza bombing

Palestinians reject US invitation to discuss Gaza humanitarian crisis

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah said Tuesday that the Gaza bombing that targeted his convoy will not refrain his government's efforts to retain full empowerment in all sectors.

Nobody immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, which left three vehicles damaged and six security guards injured.

A statement from Hamas condemned the attack, saying it was done by the "same hands" responsible for the assassination of one senior Hamas figure, Mazen Faqha, and the attempted assassination of another a year ago. Hamdallah said the blast would not disrupt attempts to reconcile with Hamas.

Presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh said, "The Palestinian presidency condemned the attack and held Hamas, the de facto power in Gaza, responsible".

Fatah, Hamdallah's political party that controls the West Bank, immediately called it an attempted assassination and said it holds Gaza's militant ruling party, Hamas, responsible. "We will still come to Gaza", he said.

The explosion occurred near the spot where a US diplomatic convoy was blown up by a remote-controlled bomb in 2003 shortly after it entered the Gaza Strip.

Fawzi Barhoum, Hamas's spokesperson, told Middle East Eye that "Hamas condemns the crime of attacking the convoy of Dr Rami Al-Hamdallah". Funding will provide urgent food assistance through in-kind vouchers and cash for work opportunities for more than 600,000 Palestine refugees, in Gaza and the West Bank, who have no other means to meet their requirements. "When the dust cleared, I saw people running everywhere, and police were running around", said a witness who declined to be identified because of security concerns.

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The Palestinians were enraged by President Donald Trump's decision to break with longstanding USA policy by recognising Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Palestinian Authority Minister of Intelligence Majid Faraj, a close ally of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, was also in the convoy.

Assassination attempt in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip has thrown a wrench into peace talks between rival Palestinian factions.

Hamdallah continued on to a scheduled appearance in Beit Lahia, at the opening of a long-awaited water-treatment project. 'We will continue working until we return to Gaza and unify our ranks, ' he assured.

A picture taken on March 13, 2018 shows one of the cars of the Palestinian Prime Minister's convoy that was hit by an explosion being towed away to the Gaza strip Erez crossing.

A separate security source in Gaza said the convoy was also fired on by unknown gunmen at the time of the explosion.

"We will hear Fatah saying that some members of Hamas do not want reconciliation, and likewise, we will hear Hamas saying this could have been a fabricated attack by Fatah's security services", Ibrahim said.

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