The hand of Israel is not being ruled out as Hamas announces an inquiry into an explosion that targeted the convoy of the West-Bank-based Palestinian prime minister during a visit to the Gaza Strip.
Tuesday’s blast wounded several security guards of Rami Hamdallah, but left him unharmed during a visit to the Hamas-run territory to open a public-works facility there.
The explosion happened shortly after Hamdallah’s convoy passed through the Israeli-controlled Erez checkpoint, known to Palestinians as Beit Hanoun, in northern Gaza, an Al Jazeera correspondent at the scene reported.
Sources told Al Jazeera that Hamdallah and Ismail Haniya, the senior political leader of Hamas, spoke by phone later in the day and agreed that Israel was behind the explosion because it appeared to be the sole beneficiary.
Hamas has denied any involvement, and said it would launch an investigation to “bring those behind the attack to justice”.
Tawfiq Abu Naim, Hamas security chief, has been given the responsibility of heading the probe.
Hamas and Fatah, the two main Palestinian political parties, signed a reconciliation agreement in October 2017, ending a decade of division that saw two parallel governments operating in Gaza and the West Bank, respectively.
The agreement to form a unity government was signed in the Egyptian capital Cairo on October 13, but efforts to implement the deal have faced