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Senior Hamas Security Official Injured in Assassination Attempt in Gaza

Senior Hamas Security Official Injured in Assassination Attempt in Gaza

Saturday, 28 October, 2017 - 12:00
Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh visits Tawfiq Abu Naim in Shifa Hospital in Gaza Strip on Friday. (Reuters)

The process of handing over the power to the Palestinian reconciliation government in the Gaza Strip is facing serious difficulties in light of disagreements between Fatah and Hamas representatives due to external activities carried out by the extremist enemies of the reconciliation.

At a time when the process of handing over the "environmental authority" and "land authority" bodies in the Strip to government officials faced hurdles, Hamas' security forces chief in Gaza was injured Friday when his car exploded in what the movement’s Interior Ministry called “a failed assassination attempt.”

“Tawfiq Abu Naim, director general of the internal security forces, survived a failed assassination attempt Friday after his car was blown up in the Nusseirat refugee camp,” a ministry statement said.

He sustained minor injuries and was taken to hospital for treatment where he was visited by Hamas political leader Ismail Haniyeh, reported AFP.

The attempt to assassinate the senior security official has been blamed on ISIS in Gaza. Witnesses said the explosion occurred when Abu Naim and worshipers left Friday prayers at the Abu al-Hussein mosque in the Nusseirat camp in Gaza.

Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum slammed the incident, describing it as "an act of cowardice that would only be perpetrated by the enemies of the Palestinian people and the homeland,” AFP quoted him as saying.

Barhoum called on security forces and the Interior Ministry to arrest the criminals and bring them to justice.

For his part, Fatah Central Committee member Ahmad Helles condemned the blast, calling it a “cowardly act” aimed at obstructing reconciliation efforts.

Fatah sources have meanwhile accused Hamas of obstructing reconciliation efforts on the ground.

Head of the Palestinian Environmental Protection Authority (PEPA) Adalah al-Atira announced that she was not able to assume her duties in Gaza on Thursday because of some problems that accompanied the handover process. She has since returned to Ramallah and will remain there until the problems are resolved.

“We lost 10 years; if we calculate the hours, minutes, capabilities and efforts in Gaza, Gaza would have become like Singapore by now," Atira said, stressing that the ministry will begin serious and effective work after the government takes over its functions in the Strip.

She also pointed out that the environmental situation in the Gaza Strip is tragic and needs every minute of action to change it.

“Most of the infrastructure are weak as a result of the siege, division and the failure of many donor countries to implement some projects in water and sewage networks,” Atira explained.

She said that the government has focused during all of its previous meetings on these projects and it is currently directing investments to Gaza Strip, especially in strategic infrastructure.

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