Abbas Cuts Short Visit to Jordan Amid Attack on Palestinian Official

Explosion goes off near Palestinian Prime Minister's convoy on rare Gaza visit

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah survived an assassination attempt in Gaza on Tuesday, the Palestinian Authority said after an apparent roadside bomb targeted his motorcade.

Hamas security sources said that the explosion was caused by a small explosive device that was detonated "far" from Hamdallah's convoy.

Hamas condemned the explosion, calling it a crime and an attempt to "hurt efforts to achieve unity and reconciliation". Hamdallah said the blast would not disrupt attempts to reconcile with Hamas.

They said that Tuesday's explosion reminded them of charges made by PA officials, who claimed that Hamas had plotted to assassinate PA President Mahmoud Abbas in a similar way more than 10 years ago.

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

"I am so glad that all of you have put tensions aside to try to help - we should all be proud of that and build on that", President Donald Trump's peace envoy Jason Greenblatt said in his opening remarks, according to text released by the White House. "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.

One of the key changes in that agreement was Hamas handing over control at Gaza's borders to the Palestinian Authority in November. Several other militant groups also operate in Gaza.

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The humanitarian crisis in Gaza, exacerbated by an Israeli and Egyptian blockade, has grown swiftly worse under the measures, as water treatment plants, hospitals, and other critical infrastructure have had to shut down or reduce services.

The PA's rhetorical onslaught on Hamas is also created to send a message to the Palestinian public that the terror group that rules the Gaza Strip is not interested in ending the dispute with Fatah.

"Here in Gaza, we take all the security precautions to welcome all the convoys and delegations and particularly the prime minister as he entered Gaza", he said.

Mladenov echoed condemnation levelled at Hamas, who are the ruing party in the Gaza Strip, by the Palestinian Presidential spokesman. One had streaks of blood on the door.

As soon as the convoy of the two senior officials crossed the checkpoint and drove a couple of kilometres into the coastal enclave, just near the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanoun, a roadside bomb had suddenly exploded right after the convoy of some 20 vehicles and cars already passed by.

The plant has been funded by the World Bank, backed by governments within Europe and the European Union, as a lack of safe drinking water is a serious issue in the Gaza Strip.

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