Explosion targets Palestinian PM's convoy while visiting Gaza

Fishermen sit together on a fishing boat at a shore in Gaza City Gaza

Fishermen sit together on a fishing boat at a shore in Gaza City Gaza

People flee the scene after a bomb attack on Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah's convoy in Gaza.

An explosive went off Tuesday morning near the convoy of Palestinian Prime Minster Rami Hamdallah who was paying a visit to Gaza, Palestinian sources said. Police said the explosion came shortly after Hamdallah's convoy passed by, and one witness said it appeared two cars at the end of motorcade sustained damage.

The Gaza-based terrorist group also condemned the attempt to harm the security of the Gaza Strip and thwart attempts to achieve Palestinian reconciliation.

Palestinian Authority spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh condemned the attack and held Hamas, the de facto power in Gaza, responsible. It promised an "urgent" investigation.

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A statement on official Palestinian media said president Mahmud Abbas considered it a "cowardly targeting" of Hamdallah's convoy and held his rivals Hamas responsible.

The attack could adversely affect the ongoing process of reconciliation between Hamas and the Fatah, which was brokered by Egypt. Hamas has been controlling Gaza Strip since 2007 after ousting forces loyal to Abbas.

One of the key changes in that agreement was Hamas handing over control at Gaza's borders to the Palestinian Authority in November.

Hamdallah's visit comes amid a time of crisis in Gaza, where the economy is devastated. "The challenge will be determining which ideas can be realistically implemented in light of the fact that the Palestinians of Gaza continue to suffer under the authoritarian rule of Hamas", he added.

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The plant in question was envisioned in 2007 after overburdened sewage reservoirs collapsed, killing five villagers.

The World Bank, European Union and other European governments have paid almost US$75 million (NZ$102 million) in funding.

Besides the old reservoirs, the plant will receive wastewater from four towns and villages.

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