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Egypt says failed attempt to assassinate Palestinian PM aimed to obstruct reconciliation

Ahram Online , Tuesday 13 Mar 2018
Palestinians receive Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah (C) in the West Bank town of Ramallah following his return from the Gaza Strip where an explosion targeted his convoy on March 13, 2018 AFP

The Egyptian foreign ministry has said that a failed assassination attempt against Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah was aimed at foiling reconciliation efforts between rival Palestinian factions, describing the attempt as a "brutal, terrorist" act.

Earlier on Tuesday, an explosion targeted the PM near the northern Palestinian town of Beit Hanoun. Hamdallah was unharmed in the explosion, while six security guards were wounded and three vehicles were damaged in the blast.

In October 2017, rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas signed a reconciliation deal brokered by Cairo after Hamas agreed to hand over administrative control of the Gaza Strip.

However, continued disputes have stalled the implementation of the agreement.

Egypt has vowed to continue with its mediation efforts until the Palestinians achieve unity.

"Egypt will continue its tireless efforts to achieve reconciliation and enable the Palestinian brothers to manage their state affairs according to a unified and comprehensive vision that fulfills the aspirations of the Palestinian people," the foreign ministry said in a statement.

Hamas – which condemned the attack – and the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority said they viewed the incident as an attempt to prevent the implementation of the unity deal.

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