Palestinian PM unhurt in Gaza explosion, several lightly injured

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah arrives to take control of Gaza from the Islamist Hamas group Photograph:( Reuters )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Mar 13, 2018, 08.57 AM (IST)

An explosion went off as Palestinian prime minister Rami Hamdallah's convoy entered the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, wounding seven people, a security source and witnesses said.

The explosive device was detonated after Hamdallah and his convoy passed through the Beit Hanoun checkpoint with Israel in northern Gaza, reports said. 

Hamdallah was not injured in the explosion, which occurred shortly after his convoy entered for a rare visit to the territory run by Islamist movement Hamas, a security source in the convoy said.

According to initial reports, several people were lightly wounded in the incident.

A statement on official Palestinian media said president Mahmud Abbas considered it a "cowardly targeting" of Hamdallah's convoy and held Hamas responsible.

The cause of the blast was not immediately known. Hamadallah, who is based in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, travelled to Gaza for the inauguration of a waste treatment plant.