Three Palestinian Authority police officers, two Hamas gunmen and an unarmed civilian were killed during a clash in the Samarian town of Kalkilya early Sunday morning.
The Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency reported that the firefight broke out after the Hamas gunmen refused to identify themselves to the PA forces.
Hamas officials said the skirmish was part of an ongoing campaign by Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority to squeeze the terror group out of the picture, despite its having overwhelmingly won the last national and local elections.
Israeli observers saw the incident as confirming predictions that Hamas would eventually bolster its forces in Judea and Samaria (the so-called “West Bank”) and repeat its armed takeover of the Gaza Strip.
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