Palestinians slam USA announcement to hold conference on Gaza crisis

Erika Holt
March 13, 2018

An explosion struck near the convoy of Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, according to local media.

Hamdallah, accompanied by Palestinian Intelligence Chief Majid Faraj, visited Gaza, controlled by the Islamic Hamas movement, to overlook the opening of a desalination plant there.

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

Hamas won parliamentary elections in the occupied territories the previous year, and reinforced its power in Gaza after ousting Fatah from the enclave.

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The Hamas interior ministry confirmed there had been an explosion and said security forces were investigating the incident.

"The attack against the government of consensus is an attack against the unity of the Palestinian people", said Nabil Abu Rdainah, a spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Top official of the left wing Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine Kayed Al-ghoul told Xinhua that the White House "is aiming at reestablishing the US role in managing the Palestinian-Israeli conflict by its various dimensions", and added that "Washington wants to use the conference as a blackmail tool against the Palestinian Authority and Hamas to make the Palestinians accept the liquidation project of the century deal".

He was also met with senior Hamas officials to discuss reconciliation talks between Hamas and the PA.

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