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Palestinian Factional Clash in Gaza Kills One


Palestinian security officials say a gunbattle between the rival Hamas and Fatah factions in the Gaza Strip has killed at least one person and wounded 17 others.

They say the clash erupted when Hamas gunmen confronted a local Fatah leader at his home near the town of Rafah early Thursday. The two sides took up positions at roadblocks and on rooftops across the southern Gaza town.

It was the first fatal clash between the rival factions since they agreed to a fragile truce almost three weeks ago, after a wave of fighting in Gaza that killed more than 50.

Israel is considering granting a Fatah request to allow arms and ammunition to be transferred from Egypt to forces in Gaza loyal to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah.

Some Israeli leaders oppose the transfer out of fear that the weapons could end up in the hands of Hamas.

But Israel has allowed similar shipments over the past year.

Despite the truce, the rival factions have been locked in skirmishes and tit-for-tat kidnappings. But those incidents were quickly resolved.

Mr. Abbas warned this week that the internal strife risked turning into a civil war.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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