Explosion reported during Prime Minister’s visit to Gaza

PNN / Bethlehem

An explosion was reported to have been detonated Tuesday morning in Gaza Strip during the visit of Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah.

Only light injuries resulting from the explosion were reported according to initial reports.

PM Hamdallah was reported safe and continued on to the scheduled event in Gaza.

Palestinian sources report that the explosion appears to have targeted the Palestinian PM’s convoy as it entered Gaza from the Erez checkpoint.

The security sources told PNN that there were no injuries in the blast, but some vehicles were likely destroyed.

The Prime Minister’s convoy which also included the Palestinian Authority Security Chief, Majid Faraj, entered the checkpoint at 10 A.M. as part of a planned visit to open a water treatment plant organised five months prior, according to sources speaking with the PNN.

Hamdallah was to also speak with senior Hamas officials on the subject of reconciliation talks between Hamas and the PA.

The visit is Hamdallah’s second since the agreement of reconciliation was signed in October 2017 in Cairo as part of an Egypt-backed initiative.

The talks have since stalled.

A spokesman for the Palestinian Presidency condemned the incident and said that they hold Hamas responsible for the bombing.

The Palestinian police force in Gaza, who are operated by the ruling party of Hamas, said that the explosion happened during the crossing of the Prime Minister.

Spokesman for Interior Ministry in Gaza said security forces in Gaza are investigating the explosion.

Arab media reports that explosion was detonated 200 metres from the convoy, but neither Hamdallah nor Faraj were injured.

The White House will convene officials from the U.S., Israel, the European Union and the Arab League later on Tuesday to discuss the humanitarian, economic and security crises in the Gaza Strip.

More details to follow.