Egypt condemns failed attempt to assassinate Palestinian PM



Tue, 13 Mar 2018 - 07:22 GMT


Tue, 13 Mar 2018 - 07:22 GMT

FILE-Egypt's Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry

FILE-Egypt's Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry

CAIRO – 13 March 2018: Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs strongly condemned the failed assassination attempt of Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah Tuesday morning though a terrorist attack in which nearly six people were injured.

In an official statement issued March 13, it was stated that Egypt will continue its efforts to achieve the Palestinian reconciliation agreement that was signed last October in Cairo between Fatah and Hamas.

FILE- Rami Hamdallah convoy on Tuesday March 13, 2018 – Photo courtesy of Twitter

The statement congratulated the Palestinian authorities on Hamdallah’s survival of the attack, affirming that the violent attempt aimed to foil the whole reconciliation.

On Tuesday morning, Hamdallah’s convoy was targeted by an explosion after he entered the Gaza Strip. About six to seven guards were reported to be injured during the blast. Tensions between Fatah and Hamas rose quickly after the attack, especially since most of the Fatah officials accused Hamas of standing behind the attack.

In a separate statement issued later, Hamas condemned the attack, saying that it aimed to foil the reconciliation efforts. Additionally, the group expressed its upset at the “fixed accusations” that were pointed towards it shortly after the attack.

FILE- Rami Hamdallah convoy on Tuesday March 13, 2018 – Photo courtesy of Twitter

In a short speech after the incident, Hamdallah affirmed that nothing would stop him or his government from moving forward regarding the reconciliation.

“Whoever doesn’t like this can be my guest and drink from the Gaza Sea,” he added.

FILE-Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah

Palestinian government spokesperson Yousef al-Mahmoud also said in other statements to Palestinian media outlets that what happened to Hamdallah was “the prize of his unshakable stance regarding uniting the state’s political parties.”

Cairo has played a key role in the reconciliation process between Fatah and Hamas. In October 2017, a reconciliation agreement was signed in Cairo between both parties. A high-profile delegation has been visiting Gaza frequently during the past period to meet with all parties in order to ease any tensions or obstacles that prevent the reconciliation agreement from being fully-implemented.

On February 25, the delegation started one of its longest visits, which lasted until March 8. During the visit, the delegation met with several Palestinian leaders from all parties and factions.

The list of separate meetings included Palestinian Minster of Transportation Sameh Tubeila, Palestinian Minister of Culture Ihab Bseiso, head of Hamas’ political bureau Ismail Haniyeh, a number of tribal heads in Gaza, and several members of the Palestinian unity government, according to Palestinian media outlets.

The Egyptian security delegation returned again to Gaza on March 11 to continue their efforts and meetings. Shortly after the attack, they issued a statement in which they deeply condemned the incident, praising Hamdallah’s stance and statements that followed the attack.

Amid international demands, including from Cairo, the Palestinian authorities started an investigation regarding the attack; however, several Palestinian officials demanded Hamas issue real and credible evidence that they were not involved in the attack. Most of the officials finally agreed that whoever stands behind the attack directly aims at foiling all domestic and international efforts trying to end the internal Palestinian rivalry between different parties, especially with the rapid escalations taking place internationally based on American President Donald Trump’s decision to relocate his country’s embassy from Te Aviv to Jerusalem.

Ending the long dispute between Fatah and Hamas will easily unite all their efforts at facing the American decision, which was condemned internationally and described as biased in Israel’s favor.



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