Fatah, Hamas forces clash in Gaza Strip as Israel wounds four Palestinians in W. Bank
Hamas and Fatah forces fought a lengthy gun battle on Tuesday in the Gaza Strip near the strategic Karni commercial crossing, Reuters reported.
An officer with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Presidential Guard said a "large number" of Hamas fighters attacked a key Presidential Guard position near the crossing, injuring at least one guard member. The officer said the Hamas fighters tried to infiltrate the position but were pushed back.
The Presidential Guard and Western security sources said the gun battle lasted almost three hours.
Hamas confirmed the fighting near Karni but said the Presidential Guard initiated the exchange. A Hamas source said the movement's gunmen had been in the area to monitor Israeli forces near the Gaza border when they came under fire from the Presidential Guard. Hamas denied any casualties on its side.
Tuesday's flare-up near the crossing was the most serious since a ceasefire between Fatah and Hamas took hold two weeks ago.
Earlier, four Palestinians were wounded by Israeli fire during an attack in the occupied West Bank, Palestinian officials said. The four university students were injured when troops fired rubber bullets to disperse a demonstration during an army incursion in Qabatiya, near the northern town of Jenin, they said.
Eight Palestinian combatants from Hamas and Islamic Jihad movements were arrested during the attack, witnesses said.