The Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority, Rami Hamdalá, greets his arrival in Gaza City on March 13, 2018
Seven people were injured on Tuesday in an explosion to the passage of the convoy of Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdalá, in the Gaza Strip, where he was visiting, a new blow to the weak reconciliation between the two formations.
Both Hamdalá and the influential head of Palestinian intelligence, Majid Faraj, emerged unscathed from the deflagration, which occurred just after the convoy entered the enclave, located between Israel, Egypt and the Mediterranean Sea and controlled by the Islamist movement Hamas. , indicated a security source that was among the delegation.
At the same time that the explosion took place, the convoy was shot, according to another Palestinian security source. Hamas cordoned off the sector afterwards.
Hamdalá, who had come to Gaza for the inauguration of a water treatment factory, decided to shorten his visit and give up other scheduled meetings in the program.
– Abbas blames Hamas –
The president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, condemned a „cowardly attack“ and blamed the Hamas Islamist movement, the Palestinian press reported.
The explosion was not claimed. Several radical Islamist groups regularly challenge Hamas’s authority in the territory.
A bodyguard of the Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority, Rami Hamdalá, and a security agent of Hamas escort the convoy of the president to leave the city of Gaza, on March 13, 2018
The Hamas Interior Ministry said that three people had been arrested and an investigation opened.
Hamas condemned the attack in a statement, saying it was the „same hand“ that the assassination of Mazen Faqha – a commander of his armed wing – in March 2017 and the attempted assassination of Taufiq Abu Naim – the head of his security forces – in October.
Hamas accused Israel of Mazen Faqha’s murder, while the second attack is attributed to radical Islamists.
Hamas has been running the Gaza Strip since it expelled the Palestinian Authority from the enclave in 2007. The latter, recognized by the international community, governs in areas of the occupied West Bank, separated from the Gaza Strip by Israeli territory.
After years of disagreement, Hamas agreed on October 12 in Cairo to cede control of the territory to the Palestinian Authority. The agreement raised the hope of an improvement of the situation in this enclave under Israeli and Egyptian blockade.
Hamas and the Palestinian Authority have not yet overcome their divisions and the agreement of October 12 has remained on paper.
A vehicle of the convoy of the Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority, Rami Hamdalá, after the attacks suffered on March 13, 2018 in the Gaza Strip
Meanwhile, warnings multiply before the deterioration of the living conditions in the territory, hit by wars, poverty, unemployment, imprisonment and shortage of water and electricity.
Israel justifies the rigorous land, air and maritime blockade that it has imposed on the Gaza Strip since 2007 because of the need to contain Hamas, one of its greatest enemies, against which it waged three wars.
Egypt, the other neighbor, keeps the border closed almost always and, since 2013, destroyed hundreds of smuggling tunnels, which further suffocates the Gaztan economy.
The reconciliation plans between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas brought new adversities. The Authority reduced the salaries of its officials in Gaza, while Hamas stopped paying a large part of its staff. The tens of thousands of employees who keep as many thousands of Gazans are struggling to make ends meet.