Palestinian police and Hamas men clashed in fierce gun battles on Friday morning in the Zeitoun neighborhood of Gaza City. Two passers-by were reportedly killed and some 25 were wounded. Earlier in the morning, PA police wounded six Hamas members making their way to launch rockets at Israeli targets.
Mortar shelling and rocket fire on Israeli settlements continued throughout the day.
In a press conference held by Hamas Friday morning, the movement blamed the PA for complying with Israel's orders, and said "the men of Iz al-Din al-Qassam (Hamas' military wing) will not give in to attempts to stop rocket fire."
Washington urged Palestinian president Abbas to take immediate action in order to put an end to attacks on Israelis by the armed factions, Israel Radio reported on Friday. The State Department said that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice spoke to the PA chairman on Thursday night on the matter.
Early on Friday, Israeli helicopter gunships fired missiles at targets in the Gaza Strip, witnesses said. The Israeli army also cut the Strip into three, severely limiting Palestinian movement.