Gaza Strip: Four Palestinians wounded in Fatah - Hamas clash
A midnight firefight erupted after a day of tense standoffs in Gaza Thursday between security forces loyal to Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and a new unit run by the Hamas-led government, competing for control over the Gaza Strip.
At least four people were wounded, two police, one member of the Hamas force and a gunman from Fatah, security sources and medics said.
The clashes came after Abbas told the Hamas-led cabinet it must immediately remove its new security forces from the streets of Gaza, a top Abbas aide said Thursday. The firefight erupted just after midnight in front of the Palestinian parliament building, witnesses said.
Witnesses said members of the Hamas force surrounded the main police station in Gaza City and traded fire with those inside.
AP reported that Hamas forces had closed off the streets leading to police headquarters, the stronghold of the Fatah loyalists, and sporadic exchanges of fire could be heard every few minutes, half an hour after the clash began.
Khaled Abu Hilal, spokesman of the Hamas-controlled Interior Ministry, said unknown gunmen opened fire on the police headquarters from a moving car. A police spokesman, who refused to give his name, rejected that version and blamed the Hamas-led force for starting the gunfight.