Gaza blast targets Palestinian PM Hamdallah's convoy

Explosion goes off near Palestinian Prime Minister's convoy on rare Gaza visit

Hamdallah, who is based in the West Bank, arrived in Hamas-run Gaza to inaugurate the sewage plant and said there that the attack will "not deter from seeking to end the bitter split". He said in the address that three cars were damaged.

Media reports said Hamdallah was unhurt, but several bystanders were injured.

The Authority said it held the enclave's dominant Hamas group responsible for the attack, stopping short of directly accusing the group of carrying out the assault, but suggesting it had failed to provide adequate security.

Gaza's interior ministry spokesperson Iyad al-Buzom told Al Jazeera that pointing blame in the attack "has a political dimension".

FILE PHOTO: Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah waves upon his arrival, in the northern Gaza Strip October 2, 2017.

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"We condemn the crime of targeting the convoy of Dr. Rami Hamdallah", said a Hamas statement posted on Twitter. Radical Islamists opposed to Hamas also operate within the Gaza Strip and have regularly been behind unrest there.

It said it would not derail Hamdallah's visit, which comes as reconciliation agreement between Hamas and Abbas's Fatah party falters.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) has announced it would boycott the conference, as PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas has refused to consider the Trump administration an honest broker for negotiations since Trump's December declaration recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

An explosive device detonated some 200 meters after the convoy entered the Strip through the Erez border crossing at 10:00 a.m. local time. Three American security specialists were killed and a USA diplomat was injured in that blast.

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