The confrontations between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority has been continuing Friday morning as Hamas supporters attacked a Palestinian police station in the central Gaza Strip. Policemen in Dir al-Balah fired in the air to disperse hundreds of Hamas demonstrators who had hurled rocks at the police station wall, broke the station's windowns and smashed in the door just after midnight, witnesses said. No casualties were reported.
Witnesses said the crowd chanted "No to political detention". No Hamas supporters were being held in the police station at the time.
The killing in Jabaliya, in northern Gaza of Mahmud Abdel Rahman Alemkayad, 17, by the police sparked the atmosphere in Gaza. This incident occurred on Thursday night. Hamas officials and police exchanged blame over the killing of Alemkayad in a fire incident which erupted after five Hamas activists were arrested. The gunfire continued sporadically until the early hours of Friday. At least other 14 people were wounded in the shooting.
Palestinian police said the Hamas people had been intercepted en route to carrying out mortar attacks on Jewish settlements in the Gaza Strip and that before being overpowered they opened fire, wounding five policemen.
In the West Bank town of Tul Karm, two people were wounded in fire exchange incident which broke out on Thursday night after Palestinian police stopped a car belonging to members of Arafat's Fatah movement to search the vehicle, witnesses said.
Following an attempt by Palestinian police to arrest Hamas spokesman Abdel-Aziz al-Rantissi on Thursday was thwarted by armed gaurds and hundreds of stone-throwing protesters, top officials from the Islamic group met late into the night in Gaza City.
Hamas official Saed Seyam told Reuters "the discussion was aimed at removing the causes of tension" between the group and the Palestinian Authority but that the participants had failed to agree on whether Rantissi should be handed over. " "It was agreed to continue discussion this afternoon (Friday) in order to achieve an understanding on the issue," he said.
Seyam categorically denied statements by Palestinian security sources that the Hamas officials had also reviewed Arafat's appeal for a suspension of armed attacks against Israel. (Albawaba.com)
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