Suspect in assassination attempt of Palestinian PM arrested

Suspect in assassination attempt of Palestinian PM arrested
The main suspect, along with two other gunmen, were detained after a shootout that left one Hamas security officer dead.
2 min read
22 March, 2018
Hamas police mobilise for a raid following an assassination attempt on the Palestinian PM [Getty]
Hamas-run security forces arrested the main suspect in last week's assassination attempt against Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah.

The suspect, who was not immediately identified, was wounded in a raid by security forces. One security officer was also killed during the reported shootout.

Two other gunmen were also detained, a security official told Reuters.

On Wednesday, Gaza's Interior Ministry said it was looking for Anas Abu Koussa, describing him as the main suspect. It is not yet clear if Abu Koussa was one of the suspects detained in Thursday's arrests.

The blast last Tuesday that targeted Hamdallah occured less than one kilometre after his convoy left the Beit Hanoun Erez crossing in northern Gaza.

A second 15kg bomb planted 30 metres away from the first reportedly failed to detonate, according to Hamas security officials. 

Hamdallah was not injured in the incident, which took place during a rare visit by the prime minister to the Gaza strip. However, shrapnel struck one of convoy cars and six guards were reportedly wounded.

Unknown gunmen also fired on the convoy after the failed assassination attempt. Hamas security forces promptly sealed off the area.

The security scare delivered a further blow to faltering reconcialition talks between the Gaza-based Hamas and the West Bank-based Fatah.

On Monday, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas directly accused Hamas of carrying out the attack.

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