Bomb targets Palestinian prime minister's convoy as it enters Gaza

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An explosion went off Tuesday morning near a convoy carrying Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, who is visiting the Gaza Strip.

Hamdallah, who is based in the West Bank, arrived in Hamas-run Gaza to inaugurate the sewage plant and said there that the attack will "not deter from seeking to end the bitter split".

Nabil Abu Rudeineh, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' spokesperson, held Hamas responsible for the attack.

The spokesman said an attack on the consensus government is an attack on the unity of the Palestinian people.

Hussein Al-Shaikh, member of Abbas' Fatah party, said in a press statement that "the grave criminal act is an unprecedented act and will have grave consequences".

The Hamas interior ministry confirmed there had been an explosion and said security forces were investigating the incident.

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It is Hamdallah's second visit to the Gaza Strip since the signing of an Egyptian-brokered "reconciliation" agreement between the West Bank's governing Fatah faction and Gaza's Hamas rulers late previous year. Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip in 2007.

Hamdallah appeared on television shortly after the explosion as he opened a wastewater treatment plant in the territory, but left shortly after - cutting short his visit, a source in his delegation said.

The incident took place amid heightened tensions between the main Palestinian factions over the implementation of a reconciliation deal signed previous year. "We will continue to work diligently to complete our government projects in the Gaza Strip", the PM declared.

The World Bank, European Union and other European governments have paid almost US$75 million (NZ$102 million) in funding.

Israel has maintained a blockade of Gaza since 2007, which it says is necessary to isolate Hamas, while Egypt has also kept its border with the enclave largely closed.

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