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Rival forces trade gunfire in Gaza
by Al Jazeera (reposted)
Tuesday Dec 12th, 2006 10:00 AM
Palestinian security forces loyal to Mahmoud Abbas have exchanged gunfire with policeman loyal to the ruling party, Hamas, after the president's decision to deploy his Fatah forces in Gaza.
Hospital officials said two members of Fatah's security forces were wounded in Tuesday's clashes, one seriously, in the southern Gaza town of Khan Younis.

A spokesman for Hamas's police force said two of their men had been wounded, one critically.

Each side accused the other of starting the gunfight. The Hamas spokesman said members of Abbas's forces had been protesting and attacking public buildings.


Abbas ordered security forces to deploy across Gaza after three sons of one of his supporters were killed on Monday on their way to school.

Tension between Abbas's Fatah movement and the governing Hamas party soared after the attack by unidentified assailants.

Early on Tuesday, heavily armed members of the security forces that take their orders from Abbas took up positions around key installations and road junctions in Gaza City.

"Palestinian security forces deployed in all streets of Gaza City to prevent crime. This was upon orders from President Abbas," a Palestinian security source said.

Security forces loyal to the Hamas government also strengthened their positions. There was no immediate sign of friction between the Abbas and Hamas loyalists.

Mourners protest

Scores of children on their way to school paid their respects at a mourning tent erected in Gaza City for the dead boys. They then set fire to tyres in the streets to protest against the killings.