Palestinian PM escapes Gaza explosion


An explosion targeted Palestinian prime minister Rami Hamdallah's convoy as he arrived in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday for a rare visit, lightly wounding seven people, officials and witnesses said.

There was no claim of responsibility, but the official Wafa news agency said the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority held Gaza's Hamas rulers accountable.

An explosive device was detonated after Hamdallah and his convoy passed through the Beit Hanoun checkpoint with Israel in northern Gaza.

Hamas confirmed an explosion struck the convoy but said no injuries were reported.

Neither Hamdallah nor Faraj were among those injured in the incident, and the Prime Minister continued his schedule as planned.

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

This is a developing story.

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The PA said it condemned the bombing and holds Hamas responsible.

Greenblatt reportedly said that the conference will focus on ideas to enhance the Gaza Strip's economy and living conditions, and urged Islamic Hamas movement running the coastal enclave since 2007 to give up armed resistance and commit to peace negotiations.

The rival factions have been trying to reconcile since 2007 when Hamas seized control of Gaza from Fatah forces and have suffered several setbacks in their efforts since.

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

In November, Hamas handed over control of Gaza's border crossings to the Palestinian Authority.

Hamdallah's government is recognised by the global community, while Hamas is blacklisted as a terrorist organisation by the European Union and the United States.