A gunfight between rival Palestinian groups has claimed six lives in the West Bank.
The shootout occurred after policemen loyal to the Fatah party of moderate Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas tried to arrest two hardline Hamas militants. Police surrounded a house in Qalqilya where an alleged Hamas field commander and his deputy had taken refuge. The two men refused to give themselves up for arrest. The ensuing gunfight killed three policemen, both Hamas suspects and the owner of the house. It comes three days after president Abbas assured the American president he was committed to enforcing law and order in the West Bank. Israel has criticised Palestinian authorities for not doing enough to meet security obligations set out in the 2003 ‘road map’ for peace.