Hamas says its security chief wounded in Gaza auto bomb attack

Tawfiq Abu-Naiim in the Gaza Strip in May 2017

Tawfiq Abu-Naiim in the Gaza Strip in May 2017. Ibraheem Abu Mustafa Reuters

Ismail Haniyeh (L), president of the Hamas politburo in Gaza, visits the hospitalized Tawfiq Aby Naim (R), head of Gaza security on Friday.

Hamas officials in Gaza believe the Islamic State jihadist group is behind the attempted assassination of their security chief on Friday, said reports Saturday in Hebrew-language media.

Several other Palestinians were injured in the incident. Following the incident, Hamas officials declared that Israel is the first to benefit from the act and therefore, the terrorist organization blamed Israel for the assassination attempt.

The attack came as Hamas and rival group Fatah attempt to unify their control of Gaza and the West Bank.

Tawfiq Abu Naim was moderately injured when his jeep exploded near the Nusseirat refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip in what the Hamas interior ministry called "a failed assassination attempt".

Tawfeeq Abu Naeem, Hamas' head of security in Gaza and a strong supporter of the reconciliation deal, was lightly wounded when his vehicle exploded outside a mosque, Hamas said in a statement. Israel has also called on Hamas to sever ties with Iran, one of its top patrons.

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"We lost 10 years; if we calculate the hours, minutes, capabilities and efforts in Gaza, Gaza would have become like Singapore by now", Atira said, stressing that the ministry will begin serious and effective work after the government takes over its functions in the Strip.

He assured that "this criminal attempt will not diminish our resolve to achieve the Palestinian national reconciliation".

The statements of the Hamas leaders all confirmed their desire to move forward in the reconciliation.

A major sticking point facing the reconciliation deal is expected to be the fate of Hamas' 25,000-strong armed wing, the Ezzedine al Qassam Brigades.

When Mazen Fukaha, a senior Hamas militant, was mysteriously assassinated in March, Hamas blamed Israel.

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