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Hamas security chief says 'assassination attempt' won't derail Palestinian unity

In this photo released by the Hamas media office, Ismail Haniyeh, head of the Hamas political bureau, visits Gen. Tawfiq Abu Naim at Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, Friday, Oct. 27, 2017.
Mohammad Austaz, Hamas Media Office via AP
Hamas security chief says group will comply with November 1 deadline for handing over control of Gaza borders

Hamas security chief Tawfiq Abu Naim, who was the target of an apparent "assassination attempt" on Friday, vowed that the attempt on his life would not derail an agreement aimed at uniting Hamas with political rivals Fatah.

Abu Naim was discharged from hospital Saturday after being moderately wounded the day before when an explosion hit his jeep in the Nusairat refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, but Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh was quick to blame Israel. Other reports suggested that Hamas officials believe Islamic State-affiliated militants to have been involved.

Abu Naim was reportedly in charge of "securing" the border between Gaza and Egypt, which is likely to have made him enemies in both Salafist groups within the Strip and the Islamic State (IS) affiliate active in the Sinai peninsula.

"The objectives of those who committed this despicable act will not be achieved," Abu Naim said in a statement Saturday.

"We are determined to leave the split behind and realize the important national unity at all costs," he said, adding that Hamas would still comply with the November 1 deadline for handing over control of Gaza's border crossings to the Palestinian Authority.

Egyptian authorities are assisting Hamas with their investigation into the bombing. Egypt has been keen to improve security in the Sinai Peninsula which borders Gaza and where jihadist rebels have fought a long-running insurgency.


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