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PA, Fatah blames Hamas over targeting of Hamdallah’s convoy

Members of a Palestinian security force seen after an explosive device targeted the convoy of Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah in Gaza on 13 March 2018 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
Members of a Palestinian security force seen after an explosive device targeted the convoy of Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah in Gaza on 13 March 2018 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]

The Palestinian Authority (PA) presidency and Fatah both blamed Hamas over the explosion that targeted the convey of the PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah during his brief visit to the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, Quds Press reported.

“Hamas is responsible for unjustified attack [on Hamdallah’s convoy],” PA Presidency spokesperson Nabeel Abu Rudieneh said, noting that “we know who is standing behind it and what are his aims.”

He also said that PA President Mahmoud Abbas would hold a series of meetings to decide how to respond and take the “appropriate measures.”

“This act pushes out people towards destruction and we will not remain silent towards it,” he said. “Anyway, we blame Hamas over this condemned attack,” he added.

Meanwhile, member of Fatah Executive Committee Hussein al-Sheikh described the explosion as a “massive criminal and unprecedented act,” noting that it would be followed with “many decisions and policies based on blaming full responsibility on Hamas.”

Deputy PA Information Minister and senior Fatah leader in Gaza Fayiz Abu-Eita blamed Hamas for the explosion and described it as “sinful act.”

Many other Fatah and PA officials blamed Hamas for the explosion, but at the same time, most of the Palestinian actors called for Fatah and the PA to refrain from pointing fingers at Hamas or any other party before completing the investigations being conducted into the accident.

However, some security experts and observers suspected that Fatah and the PA plotted the explosion, which hit the last three vehicles of Hamdallah’s convoy.

Palestinians launched a hashtag in Arabic on social media reading “The Play of Exploding PM’s Convoy” while Fatah activists and mass media, including Maan News Agency and Palestine TV announced false news about the incident – such as the number of casualties and additional gun fire.

In fact, only one of the security staff accompanying Hamdallah was slightly injured.

The Palestinian Interior Ministry in Gaza announced immediately after the incident that it had arrested two suspects and a security official told MEMO that “a security incident was expected because the security services in Ramallah announced a false itinerary for the convoy’s trip in Gaza.”

According to the security sources, “this aimed to distort our security efforts, however, we were vigilant and immediately arrested two out of three suspects and investigations are still continuous.”

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