A firefight between rival Palestinian groups has killed 6 people.
In what is being seen as the bloodiest internal clash in the West Bank since 2007, the gun battle broke out after Fatah forces loyal to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas raided a Hamas hideout. Violence erupted when police encircled a house in Qalqilya, where it is thought a top Hamas Commander and his deputy had taken refuge. Three policemen, both Hamas men and the homeowner were killed in the ensuing gunfight. Earlier, mourners from the West Bank towns of Jenin and Qalqilya buried the dead policemen. The latest raid is likely to widen the rift between Abbas’s Fatah and Islamist Hamas complicating Egyptian efforts to forge a truce between the two groups. In Gaza, thousands of Hamas supporters responded to the clashes by marching through the streets. A spokesperson for Hamas, which runs the impoverished coastal territory, accused Abbas aligned forces of being loyal to Israel.