IDF dragged into Gaza infighting

Tuesday, May 15, 2007 |  by Staff Writer

Israeli soldiers on Tuesday found themselves engaging rival Palestinian gunmen who were battling each other at the Karni Crossing between the Gaza Strip and southern Israel.

The bloodletting erupted when Hamas militants besieged a training camp belonging to force aligned aligned with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah faction. At least seven Fatah men were reportedly killed in a Hamas ambush as they tried to aid their comrades.

At one point, several Palestinian gunmen moved closer to the Gaza security fence, prompting defensive fire from Israel Defense Forces (IDF) troops stationed at Karni. Palestinian sources said one man was fired by the Israelis.

The attacking Hamas force is said to have quickly withdrawn when the IDF moved three tanks into the area.

Some 17 Palestinians have been killed over the past three days in the renewed Gaza infighting that is threatening to bring down the Hamas-Fatah unity government.

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