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Palestine Palestinian prime minister escapes Gaza explosion

PALESTINIAN Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah escaped unharmed yesterday when an explosion struck his convoy during a visit to Gaza.

Three vehicles in his convoy had their windows blown out, as Mr Hamdallah arrived to inaugurate a long-delayed sewage plant project after the World Bank, European Union and European governments paid nearly £53.7 million in funding.

The project’s opening was delayed for four years by the Hamas election victory in 2006, the ensuing Israeli-Egyptian blockade, power shortages and conflicts.

Presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh said the attack on a consensus government representative was an attack on the unity of the Palestinian people.

Hamas condemned the explosion, calling it a crime and an attempt to “hurt efforts to achieve unity and reconciliation.” It promised an urgent investigation.

Senior West Bank official Hanan Ashrawi condemned the “cowardly act,” saying it targeted against “all attempts at creating Palestinian unity, putting an end to the rift or the division in Palestine.”

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