A big explosion greeted Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah as his convoy drove into the Gaza Strip Tuesday from Ramallah, accompanied by the Palestinian Authority’s Intelligence chief, Majd Farraj. Both escaped harm, but seven of their bodyguards were injured. The explosion was detonated as the convoy entered the enclave through Israel’s northern Beit Hanoun checkpoint. This was Hamdallah’s first visit to the enclave in five months. The convoy was first reported to have continued on its way to a ceremony inaugurating a wastewater treatment plant, but later the prime minister was said to have cancelled all his other appointments in the enclave and returned to Ramallah.
DEBKAfile adds: Gen. Majd Farraj last week returned home from the United States after recuperating from open heart surgery.
All efforts to unite the Palestinian movement have fallen foul of the bitter feud between Hamas’ rulers of Gaza and the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority administration in Ramallah. A statement on official Palestinian media said PA chairman Mahmud Abbas considered it a “cowardly targeting” of Hamdallah’s convoy and held Hamas responsible. He has cut short his visit to Amman.