Global News

Palestinians slam U.S. announcement to hold conference on Gaza crisis

Palestinians slam U.S. announcement to hold conference on Gaza crisis

Palestinian Prime Minister Ramy Hamdallah on Tuesday survived an explosion that targeted his convoy during his visit to the Gaza Strip, the Interior Ministry said.

The Palestinian Authority has accused militants in Gaza of trying to kill Hamdallah.

Three of the vehicles in his convoy were damaged, their windows blown out. One had signs of blood on the door.

The Palestinian territories have been effectively split since a violent struggle in 2007, with the Palestinian Authority controlling the West Bank and the more militant Hamas in control of the Gaza Strip.

Hamdallah for his part insisted that what happened Tuesday only increases his resolve to continue his work in the service of the Gaza Strip and ending the division. It promised an "urgent" investigation.

The prime minister is based in the occupied West Bank and travelled overland, via Israel, to the Gaza Strip.

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While President Mahmoud Abbas blamed Hamas for the blast, his security chief Majed Farraj, who was in the convoy, said it was "too early" to say who was responsible.

The visit came as reconciliation efforts between Hamas and Abbas's Fatah party falter.

Hamdallah appeared on television shortly after the explosion as he opened a plant in the territory.

The White House is due to hold a conference on the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Gaza on Tuesday, but it is unclear whether any Palestinian officials will break their boycott of U.S. officials to attend.

The plant was envisioned in 2007 after overburdened sewage reservoirs collapsed, killing five villagers. After treatment, the water will be transferred for irrigation and the remainder will be safely dumped to the sea.


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