Hamas security forces killed in operation to arrest PM attacker
Two Hamas security forces have been killed during an operation to arrest the main suspect in the bombing attack of Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah's convoy last week Al Jazeera News reported.
Al Jazeera has learned that the suspect, Anas Abu Khousa, was arrested during Thursday's operation.
Khousa was injured during the raid and is reportedly in critical condition.
Several security guards of Hamdallah were wounded during the March 13 attack, which took place while the prime minister was visiting Gaza.
The blast happened shortly after Hamdallah's convoy passed through the Israeli-controlled Erez checkpoint, known to Palestinians as Beit Hanoun, in northern Gaza.
Hamdallah heads the Palestinian Authority government based in Ramallah in the West Bank.
President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, has accused Hamas of orchestrating the explosion.
The attack and subsequent statements by both sides mark a serious deterioration in relations between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority.
Fatah, the ruling party within the PA, and Hamas, the party that governs the occupied Gaza Strip, signed a reconciliation agreement in October 2017, ending a decade of division that saw two parallel governments operating in Gaza and the West Bank, respectively.
But the deal was never fully implemented due to differences within the two political factions, which are the largest in Palestinian politics.
Analysts said the attack on Hamdallah's convoy was intended to put a strain on reconciliation efforts.