Did a Palestinian try to assassinate a top Abbas aide?
PA official's guards shoot, seriously wound driver they thought was going to ram his convoy in Ramallah.
Palestinian security men shot and seriously wounded a driver they believed was going to ram the convoy of a senior aide to President Mahmoud Abbas, police and medics said on Tuesday.
"A motorist tried to overtake the convoy of Mr Tayyeb Abel-Rahim, raising the suspicions of his bodyguards who shot at him," security forces spokesman Adnan Damiri said. Abel-Rahim is the secretary-general of the Palestinian Authority Presidency.
Asked if it was an accident or a deliberate threat, the spokesman said: "It is still under investigation."
The incident in Ramallah, commercial capital of the West Bank where Abbas has his offices, underscored a rise in tension and violence between his Fatah movement and members of the rival Islamist group Hamas.
The official news agency Wafa said the man was "driving fast in an erratic manner" and ignored frantic police warnings to stop. Bodyguards were forced to shoot at the wheels of the car "which resulted in the wounding of the motorist."
The convoy was clearly marked, police said. The aide to Abbas, traveling in an official black Mercedes Benz, was not injured. Hospital sources said the driver was hit three times and was in critical condition.
The Palestinian Authority security service is concerned about possible assassination attempts against top officials following clashes in May and June in which 9 people died.