Hamas names suspect in bomb attack on prime minister

Palestinians take part in a protest in Gaza City on March 21, 2018 against Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas's statement in which he accused Hamas of carrying out a bomb attack against prime minister Rami Hamdallah in Gaza last week, as well as threatening fresh sanctions against them. (AFP)
Updated 21 March 2018
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Hamas names suspect in bomb attack on prime minister

GAZA CITY: Hamas on Wednesday named a fugitive suspect in a bomb attack on Palestinian prime minister Rami Hamdallah, two days after the movement itself was accused of the Gaza attack.
Hamdallah was unhurt by the roadside blast that struck his convoy on March 13, in what Palestinian officials have called an assassination attempt as he entered the Hamas-run strip on a rare visit.
The interior ministry in Gaza on Wednesday said it was searching for Anas abu Koussa, born in 1993, describing him as the lead suspect.
It did not give a possible motive for the attack on Hamdallah, head of government in president Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority.
A Hamas security source said investigators had arrested and were questioning three people, including two members of the PA-run intelligence services.
Another security source said he believed radical Salafist Muslims had planted the bomb, which lightly injured six people.
Hamas and the West Bank-based PA have been bitter rivals for a decade since the movement seized control of Gaza.
The bomb appears to have brought to an end hopes for an already floundering reconciliation deal between Hamas and Abbas’s Fatah party, which dominates the PA.
On Monday Abbas accused Hamas of being behind the blast and said he would take new measures in response, without specific details.
Meanwhile, Palestinians took part in a protest in Gaza City on Wednesday against Abbas's statement in which he accused Hamas of carrying out a bomb attack against prime minister Rami Hamdallah in Gaza last week, as well as threatening fresh sanctions against them.


Gaza truce holds after Israeli strikes over soldier death

Updated 50 sec ago
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Gaza truce holds after Israeli strikes over soldier death

GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories: A cease-fire announced by Hamas largely held Saturday after a wave of deadly strikes across the Palestinian enclave sparked by the death of an Israeli soldier shot near the border.
Israel did not confirm the deal announced by Gaza’s Islamist rulers Hamas, which went into effect around midnight Friday.
Since then there have been no reports of Israeli air strikes on the blockaded enclave or of mortar fire from Gaza toward Israel.
“With Egyptian and UN efforts, we reached (an agreement) to return to the previous state of calm between the (Israeli) occupation and the Palestinian factions,” Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said in a statement.
He gave no details of the deal.
Israel’s army and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office declined to confirm a truce was reached.
“All we can say is that there have been no incidents or Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip since the last wave of airstrikes on Friday night,” a military spokeswoman told AFP.
On Friday, three Hamas militants were killed as air raids sent fireballs exploding into the sky over Gaza, while Israel said rockets had been fired back at its territory. A fourth Palestinian was shot dead in protests near the border.
The United Nations urged all sides to step “back from the brink” after months of increasing tensions.
The soldier, shot dead along the border in southern Gaza, was the first to be killed in and around the Palestinian enclave since a 2014 war between Israel and Hamas.
Friday’s flare-up is the latest as demonstrations and clashes on the frontier since March have seen at least 149 Palestinians killed.
The Israeli army said they struck 60 Hamas sites including weapon manufacturing sites, a drone warehouse and a military operations room.
The cease-fire is the second since in a week.
Last weekend saw the most severe exchange of fire between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza since the 2014 war.