Blast targets Palestinian PM's convoy during rare Gaza visit


Hamas condemned the explosion targeting Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Hamdallah's convoy in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday morning.

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah waves as he arrives to hold a cabinet meeting in Gaza City October 3, 2017.

Photographs showed one 4×4 vehicle with its windows apparently blown out and airbags deployed. One had signs of blood on the door.

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Hamdallah was not injured in the explosion, which occurred shortly after his convoy entered for a rare visit to the territory, a security source in the convoy said. It promised an "urgent" investigation.

The White House is due to hold a conference on the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Gaza on Tuesday, but it is unclear whether any Palestinian officials will break their boycott of United States officials to attend.

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

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The visit came as reconciliation efforts between Hamas and Abbas's Fatah party falter. It was the first tangible concession in years of Egyptian-brokered reconciliation talks.

The Washington Post reported last Thursday that U.S. President Donald Trump's Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt said the White House will hold a conference this week to look into saving the situation in Gaza. "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.

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

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