Hamas accuses PA over bomb attempt on its own premier

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Finger-pointing over attack on Hamdallah's convoy is likely to deepen already bitter political rift

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah waves upon arriving in Gaza City on 13 March, having survived bomb attack (AFP)
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Monday 30 April 2018 1:03 UTC
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Leaders of Gaza's Islamist group 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. 

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

Relations between the two largest Palestinian groups are worsening, 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.

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

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

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 [the PA's de facto administrative capital] 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 Hamas's 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.