A senior Hamas terrorist was killed and seven were wounded late Saturday night during a shootout with Fatah gunmen in the Gaza Strip. This is the first outbreak of violence between the two groups since the Mecca accords last month.
In spite of talks to cease the violence, Israel Radio reported that Hamas blamed Fatah for opening fire on them killing Hamas field commander Mohammed el-Kafarneh.
Fatah spokesman Abdel Kharim Awad accused Hamas of ambushing Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades members and firing at its Beit Hanoun office.
Local residents said two Fatah operatives and one Hamas member were wounded in the fighting.
The incident occurred on the eve of a summit between Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, at which the two leaders were expected to discuss the Palestinian unity government.
In an incident earlier Saturday Palestinian operatives opened fire at a car carrying Wasfi Kibha, a Hamas minister. Kibha managed to escape unharmed.