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Palestinian PM says determined to achieve reconciliation despite convoy attack

GAZA, March 13, 2018 (BSS/Xinhua)- Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah said Tuesday that the attack targeting his convoy in Gaza will only harden his determination to achieve Palestinian reconciliation.

"The explosion will not block us from getting rid of the ugly division," Hamdallah said at the opening of a water desalination plant in Gaza Strip.

Earlier an explosion went off Tuesday morning near his convoy shortly after entering Gaza, which is under the control of the Islamic Hamas movement. No injuries were reported.

Palestinian officials have blamed Hamas for the attack, warning that it could damage the Palestinian unity.

Hamdallah stressed that he will return to Gaza again despite the attack targeting his convoy, expressing hope that the Egyptian efforts to end the split between Fatah and Hamas will succeed.

Hamdallah was accompanied by Palestinian intelligence chief Majid Faraj during his rare visit to Gaza to overlook the opening of the desalination plant there.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudeineh condemned the Hamas attack as an "attack on the unity of the Palestinian people", the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.

Last October, Hamas and Fatah signed an Egyptian-sponsored reconciliation pact in Cairo to heal their decade-long rift.

Under the deal, Hamas should have fully handed over power in Gaza to Hamdallah's Ramallah-based consensus government in December. Hamas has been controlling Gaza since 2007 after ousting the forces loyal to Abbas.

However, the ongoing differences between the two sides have forced a delay of the implementation of the reconciliation pact until further notice.