Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah waves upon arriving in Gaza City on 13 March, having survived bomb attack. (AFP/file photo)

Gaza's Islamist leaders Hamas on Saturday publicly accused the rival Palestinian Authority (PA) of planning an assassination attempt against the head of its own government.

PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, was not hurt when a roadside bomb hit his convoy on 13 March during a rare visit to Hamas-controlled Gaza last month.

Hamdallah heads the PA's West Bank-based government under the presidency of Mahmud Abbas.

Relations between the two largest Palestinian groups are at a low, six months after they signed a reconciliation deal aimed at ending a decade-long split.

The explosion put an end to an already faltering reconciliation agreement between Hamas and secularists Fatah, which dominates the PA.

Hamas: Palestinian Authority General Intelligence Service was behind the bombing of the convoy of PM Rami Hamdallah in Gaza Strip last month.

— Khaled Abu Toameh (@KhaledAbuToameh) April 28, 2018

Continued finger-pointing over the roadside bomb attack on Hamdallahs convoy looks likely to deepen the already bitter political rift.

After the blast, Abbas had accused Hamas of carrying out the bombing.

Still, on Saturday a spokesman for the Hamas interior ministry in Gaza accused senior PA security officials of orchestrating the attack to destabilise the coastal territory.

"Investigations have shown that senior figures in the General Intelligence Service in Ramallah are the engine of subversive cells that are working to undermine security in the Gaza Strip," spokesman Iyad Buzum told a news conference.

Reuters was unable to independently verify the allegations and the PA rejected Hamass accusation.

Three men identified by Hamas as suspects involved in the bombing were killed in a shootout with its forces in Gaza on 22 March.

Original Article


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