Clashes between Palestinian factions kill three in Gaza

by Xinhua

Gaza : Clashes between Palestinian factions killed at least three people, including a teenager, and injured dozens of others on Saturday, said hospital officials.

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The clashes, between the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) and a clan loyal to President of the Palestinian National Authority Mahmoud Abbas, were among the deadliest since Hamas took over the Gaza Strip after routing Abbas’s forces in June.

Electricity was cut in parts of the Shijaiyeh neighborhood where the clashes erupted, and access to telecommunications was denied.

About 40 people were injured, said medical staff.

Saturday’s casualties brought to six the number of people killed since the standoff emerged between the two factions as the Hilles clan refused to hand over to Hamas several clan members who were allegedly involved in a Wednesday fighting in which three Palestinians were killed.

In another development on Saturday, Israeli forces shot dead two Palestinians in a boat off the Gaza Strip, said a Hamas spokesman.

Since Hamas overran Abbas’ Fatah fighters in mid-June and seized control of the Gaza Strip, Hamas has detained many Palestinians loyal to Abbas’ Fatah movement, accusing them of trying to bring back the status of lawlessness to Gaza.

While in the Fatah-controlled West Bank, Fatah’s security forces have been constantly accused by Hamas of intensifying efforts to crack down on Hamas members.