Spokesman of the Palestinian government, Dr. Ghazi Hamad has said that an investigation was underway into Saturday’s attempt to kill the chief of the Palestinian Authority (PA) intelligence service in the Gaza Strip, General Tareq Abu Rajab, but that it was too early to identify the possible perpetrators.

A group linking itself to al-Qaida claimed responsibility for the failed attempt , according to a Web statement posted Sunday.  The group, called the Qaida Organization of the State of Palestine, also vowed to target other senior officials, including Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.  But The Al Aqsa Brigades, the military wing affiliated to the Fatah Movement, said that this web statement was the work of collaborators working for Israel, aiming to divide the Palestinian people.

Speaking to a reporter for the Palestinian Ma’an News Agency in Jerusalem, Palestinian Government Spokesman Hamad said that although it was unknown what group actually carried out the assassination, placing a bomb under Abu Rajab’s elevator would need complex technology and skill to carry out, in addition to the time that it would take. He said that the logistics of the operation were complicated and difficult.

Hamad refused the accusation made by West Bank Intelligence Chief, Tawfiq Tirawi, blaming political factions, saying, "Unfortunately every time something like this happens, it is blamed on somebody or some side. These are just accusations and these incidents should not be dealt with in the media and especially not until the investigation is complete.”

The spokesman added that Tirawi’s statements have increased tension by blaming some political factions.

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas called Saturday’s attack an attempted assassination.  Abbas said Sunday that he would open a dialogue with Hamas later this week in a bid to end the power-struggle between Palestinian factions that threatens to become civil war.