Abbas accuses Hamas of assassination attempt on Palestinian premier

Abbas accuses Hamas of assassination attempt on Palestinian premier
2 min read
20 March, 2018
Speaking to Palestinian leaders in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah, Abbas said if the attack had succeeded it would have 'opened the way for a bloody civil war'.
Abbas had previously claimed Hamas was responsible as it controls security in Gaza. [Getty]

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday directly accused Hamas of carrying out a bomb attack targeting prime minister Rami Hamdallah in Gaza last week.

A roadside bomb exploded as Hamdallah's convoy entered Gaza in what officials have labelled an assassination attempt.

The Palestinian premier was uninjured while six of his security guards were lightly hurt.

Abbas had previously claimed Hamas was responsible as it controls security in the Gaza Strip, but on Monday evening said the group was "behind the attack".

Speaking to Palestinian leaders in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah, Abbas said if the attack had succeeded it would have "opened the way for a bloody civil war".

He said the incident would "not be allowed to pass" and announced he would take unspecified "national, legal and financial measures".

Hamas condemned what it called Abbas's "provocative positions", saying its security services were still investigating the explosion.

Abbas has previously taken a series of measures, including reducing electricity payments for Gaza's two million residents, in what analysts said was an attempt to punish Hamas.

Hamas and Fatah have been locked in a bitter rivalry since 2007 when Hamas seized control of Gaza in a near civil war.

The rival Palestinian political parties agreed a reconciliation agreement in October but it has collapsed.