Palestinian PM cancels Gaza visit after bombings

Palestinian PM cancels Gaza visit after bombings
Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah

GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories - Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah has cancelled a visit to Gaza planned for Saturday after a wave of bombings hit Fatah property in the territory, government spokesman Ihab Bseiso told AFP.

Hamdallah had been due to meet in Gaza with the European Union's new foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini.

But early on Friday, at least 10 explosions hit houses and cars belonging to members of the Fatah movement of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas in Gaza, an AFP correspondent and witnesses said.

An EU spokesman said that Mogherini "still plans to go to Gaza," where she will meet Gaza-based Palestinian cabinet ministers and UN relief agency staff.

She will meet Hamdallah in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Saturday evening before holding talks with Abbas, he added. The stage for commemorations of next week's 10th anniversary of the death of iconic Palestinian leader and Fatah founder Yasser Arafat was also targeted in the Gaza blasts which struck in the space of a few hours before 6:30 am (0430 GMT).

It is the first time in years that a public commemoration of Arafat's death has been planned in Gaza.

Abbas loyalists were ousted from the territory in 2007 and rival administrations ruled in the West Bank and Gaza.

But earlier this year Hamas and Fatah struck a reconciliation agreement leading to the formation of a government of national unity.

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