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The Latest: UN Mideast envoy condemns attack on Pals PM

March 13, 2018
Associated Press

JABALIYA, Gaza Strip (AP) — The Latest on explosion striking Palestinian PM convoy in Gaza (all times local):

12:20 p.m.

The United Nations Mideast envoy has condemned the attack on Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah's convoy in Gaza.

In a statement, Nickolay Mladenov called for a prompt investigation into what he called a "grave incident" so the perpetrators can be brought to justice.

He says that until the "legitimate" Palestinian Authority takes power in Gaza, the Hamas militant group is responsible for enabling the internationally backed government to work without fear of intimidation, harassment and violence.

Hamas seized power of Gaza in 2007, and repeated attempts to reconcile with the Palestinian Authority have failed or stalled.

Mladenov says Tuesday's blast was carried out by people trying to undermine reconciliation and "destroy the chances for peace."


11:50 a.m.

The Hamas militant group has condemned the Gaza explosion that targeted the convoy of visiting Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah.

In a statement, Hamas called Tuesday's blast a "crime" and said it was an attempt to "hurt efforts to achieve unity and reconciliation." It promised an "urgent" investigation.

Hamas has controlled Gaza since seizing it from the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority in 2007.

Hamas condemned President Mahmoud Abbas for blaming it for the blast, and Abbas' security chief, Majed Farraj, said it was "too early" to say who was responsible.

Hamdallah, who was not hurt, left Gaza and was headed back to the West Bank.


10:55 a.m.

An explosion has struck the convoy of the Palestinian prime minister during a rare visit to Gaza, sparking fears of an assassination attempt.

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah was unharmed Tuesday but his Palestinian Authority quickly accused Gaza militants of trying to kill him.

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

Hamdallah, who operated in the West Bank, arrived in Hamas-run Gaza to inaugurate a long-awaited sewage plant project.

The World Bank, European Union and other European governments have paid nearly $75 million in funding. Hamas' takeover of Gaza from the Palestinian Authority in 2007 and the ensuing Israeli-Egyptian blockade, power shortages and conflicts delayed the opening of the project for four years.



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