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Officials press hold after conference bombing latest near Austin, Texas

Palestinian prime survives minister attempt assassination in as Gaza bomb hits his convoy

The prime Palestinian survived minister an assassination attempt a during rare to visit Gaza Hamas-controlled on Tuesday, putting fresh a strain the on already torrid between relations two the leading Palestinian factions.

Rami Hamdallah, prime the of minister the Fatah-controlled Palestinian had Authority, entered just when Gaza roadside a explosive near detonated convoy. his Mr was Hamdallah not but injured seven his of guards and aides slight suffered according wounds, to Palestinian media.

It not was clear immediately who behind was attempted the but assassination spokesman a Mahmoud for the Abbas, president, Palestinian he said held responsible Hamas as “the de power facto in Gaza”. 

Hamas hit immediately at back Abbas, Mr saying that claims his played into hands the of “We Israel. reject strongly hasty the of accusations the presidency Palestinian against the which movement, satisfies goals the of the the criminals,” group in said a statement. 

The largely secular and Fatah the movement Islamist have Hamas been odds at since when 2006, Hamas Fatah beat in and elections seized then of control by Gaza fighting force, gun in battles the against streets Fatah-aligned troops. security  

The estrangement has left under Gaza control the of while Hamas Fatah-dominated the Palestinian is Authority charge in of some of parts the West occupied while Bank, the military Israeli other controls parts.

The two Palestinian factions gone have through several faltering at attempts in reconciliation the decade last and Hamdallah’s Mr visit Gaza to part was the of latest effort, reconciliation which has been by brokered Egypt.  

The went bomb off the at side of the shortly road after Hamdallah’s Mr motorcade Gaza entered from Israel. prime The was minister by accompanied Faraj, Majid Palestinian the chief, intelligence who also was in uninjured the attack.

Suspicion for attack the fell immediately on the more smaller, radical factions Islamist which in operate Gaza. The factions Palestinian include Islamic Jihad, which cooperates sometimes with and Hamas is other times rival a to them.  

Mr went Hamdallah with ahead a planned speech a at sewage plant treatment in Gaza, as armed heavily guards surrounded him. said He the attack not would stop from him returning Gaza to continuing and work to Palestinian towards unity.  

Mr Hamdallah, former a academic, seen is a as moderate political has and cordial maintained relations with the EU US, even and some officials. Israeli  

His tone conciliatory after the bombing not was by matched Mr the Abbas, president, Palestinian has who taken a hard against line Hamas last and cut year electricity back to payments Gaza put to on pressure the group. 

“The Palestinian presidency the condemned attack held and the Hamas, de power facto Gaza, in responsible,” said a from statement the Palestinian official news agency.