Blast Targets Palestinian PM's Convoy during Rare Gaza Visit
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – An explosion targeted Palestinian prime minister Rami Hamdallah's convoy as he arrived in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday for a rare visit, lightly wounding seven people, officials and witnesses said.
Hamdallah was not injured in the explosion, which occurred shortly after his convoy entered the besieged enclave, a security source in the convoy said, according to AFP.
Palestinian intelligence chief Majid Faraj was part of the convoy but was also unhurt, the security source said.
A separate security source in Gaza said the convoy was also fired on by unknown gunmen at the time of the explosion. Hamas security forces then sealed off the area.
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.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
Hamdallah appeared on television shortly after the explosion as he opened a wastewater treatment plant in the territory, but left shortly after -- cutting short his visit, a source in his delegation said.
He had been expected to hold a number of other engagements before leaving.
The Hamas interior ministry confirmed there had been an explosion and said they had arrested three suspects as they began an investigation.
A statement from Hamas condemned the attack, saying it was done by the "same hands" responsible for the assassination of one senior Hamas figure, Mazen Faqha, and the attempted assassination of another last year.
Hamas criticized Abbas's accusation, saying it "achieved the goals of the criminals."