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.


US to send 1,000 additional troops to the Middle East

Updated 14 min 38 sec ago
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US to send 1,000 additional troops to the Middle East

DUBAI/WASHINGTON: Acting US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan announced on Monday the deployment of about 1,000 more troops to the Middle East for what he said were “defensive purposes,” citing concerns about a threat from Iran.
“The recent Iranian attacks validate the reliable, credible intelligence we have received on hostile behavior by Iranian forces and their proxy groups that threaten United States personnel and interests across the region,” Shanahan said in a statement.
Reuters first reported plans to send US additional troops to the Middle East earlier on Monday.
Fears of a confrontation between Iran and the United States have mounted since last Thursday when two oil tankers were attacked, more than a year after President Donald Trump announced Washington was withdrawing from a 2015 nuclear deal.
Iran said on Monday it would soon breach limits on how much enriched uranium it can stockpile under the deal, which a White House National Security Council spokesman said amounted to “nuclear blackmail.”