Palestinian prime minister survives roadside bomb blast on convoy

Palestinian prime minister survives roadside bomb blast on convoy
From CBC - March 13, 2018

An explosion struck the convoy of the Palestinian prime minister Tuesday as he was visiting Gaza, in what his Fatah party is calling an attack against Palestinian unity.

The blast occurred after the convoy travelled through the Erez crossing with Israel for a visit to a sewage plant project in the northern part of Gaza.

The bombing that seemed to target the Western-backed leader, who is spearheadingthe authority's reconciliation efforts with Gaza's dominantgroup, Hamas, happened on the day the White House is due to holda meeting on the humanitarian situation in the enclave.

There was no immediateclaim of responsibility for the blast and Hamascondemned the attack.

Minutes after the explosion, the 59-year-old prime minister,appearing unhurt, delivered a speech at the inauguration of awaste treatment plant and pledged to continue to pursuePalestinian unity.

He said three vehicles were damaged in the explosion, whichleft a crater by the side of the road and blew out thewindows of at least one utility vehicle.

The Palestinian Authority said it held Hamas responsible for the attack, but stoppedshort of directly accusing the group of carrying outthe assault, suggestingit had failed to provide adequatesecurity.

Elusive unity

Hamas and the authority, led by President MahmoudAbbas, are still divided over how to share administrative powerin the Gaza Strip under an Egyptian-brokered unity deal.

The Hamasparty won Palestinian legislative elections in January 2006, then consolidated power the following year after factional fighting between Hamas and forces loyal to the Fatah party.

White House holding talks onMideast


Continue reading at CBC »