Explosion targets Palestinian PM's convoy while visiting Gaza

Israeli forces arrest 10 Palestinian fishermen off Gaza coast

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah was unharmed and went on to inaugurate a long-awaited sewage plant project in the northern part of the strip.

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah and the head of his Preventive Security Majid Faraj survived an assassination attempt upon their arrival in the Gaza Strip Tuesday morning, as their convoy was attacked by three auto bombs after entering the Beit Hanoun crossing in the northern Gaza Strip, Ma'an reported.

Hamdallah was not injured in the explosion, which occurred shortly after his convoy entered for a rare visit to the territory, a security source in the convoy said.

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The Gaza-based terrorist group also condemned the attempt to harm the security of the Gaza Strip and thwart attempts to achieve Palestinian reconciliation.

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. It promised an "urgent" investigation.

"We condemn the crime of targeting the convoy of Dr. Rami Hamdallah", said a Hamas statement posted on Twitter.

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"Solving the situation in Gaza is vital for humanitarian reasons, important for the security of Egypt and Israel and is a necessary step toward reaching a comprehensive peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians, including Palestinians in both Gaza and the West Bank".

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 a year ago. The White House is hosting a gathering of worldwide representatives Tuesday to discuss economic development and the dire humanitarian situation, which White House envoy Jason Greenblatt has blamed on Hamas' control. Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip in 2007.

The World Bank, European Union and other European governments have paid almost US$75 million (NZ$102 million) in funding.

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