The Palestinian Authority on Wednesday condemned the Jerusalem explosion that killed a woman and wounded dozens of people, while Hamas and Islamic Jihad welcomed it as a “natural response to Israeli crimes.”

The Hamas government, meanwhile, declared a state of emergency in the Gaza Strip in anticipation of a massive IDF response to the bombing and the recent spate of rocket and mortar attacks on Israel.

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Palestinian journalists in the Gaza Strip said that Hamas has evacuated most of its civilian and security buildings in the Gaza Strip as part of its precautionary measures.

Many Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders went into hiding after closing their mobile phones, the journalists said.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas, who is on a visit to Moscow, condemned the Jerusalem explosion, his office in Ramallah said, noting that he had also denounced the killing of nine Palestinians in the Gaza Strip a day earlier by the IDF.

PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said in a statement that he “strongly condemns the terror attack in Jerusalem regardless of the identity of the perpetrators.”

Referring to the possibility that Palestinians were behind the attack, Fayyad said it would it be despicable if any Palestinian party was involved, especially in light of the huge damage that such attacks have inflicted on the Palestinians in the past.

Hamas representatives in the Gaza Strip hailed the attack as a “natural response to Israeli crimes against Palestinians.”

Ehab Ghissin, spokesman for the Hamas-controlled Interior Ministry, said that his government has acted in accordance with an emergency plan that envisages a massive IDF strike in the Gaza Strip.

He said that in line with the plan, Hamas evacuated security installations throughout the Gaza Strip out of fear that they could be targeted by Israeli warplanes.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said that Israeli threats to retaliate in response to the terror attacks don’t scare his movement or the Palestinians.

Hamas officials in the Gaza Strip said that the movement has asked Egypt to intervene with Israel to prevent a military confrontation. The officials added that Egyptian authorities were in contact with Hamas and Israel to avoid another war.

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