GAZA CITY Ñ Hamas and the Palestinian Authority have
clashed amid efforts to recruit the Islamic insurgency group into the new
government of Prime Minister-designate Ahmed Qurei.
Palestinian sources said Hamas gunmen and PA security forces fought
street battles throughout Thursday and into Friday in Gaza City. At least 15
Ten of the wounded were injured by PA gunfire, the sources said. The
sources said Hamas gunmen also fired their weapons and two police officers
The confrontation began on Wednesday when Hamas insurgents abducted an
officer of the PA security service in the Shati refugee camp. PA forces
responded and arrested seven Hamas suspects.
On Thursday, hundreds of Hamas supporters marched on PA police
headquarters. The supporters hurled stones, burned tires and tried to storm
the building in central Gaza City.
PA forces guarding the building opened fire and at least 10
demonstrators were injured. One of them was said to be in critical
Later, Hamas gunmen opened fire on civilians and injured three of them.
The sources said the gunmen mistook the civilians for plainclothes PA
A PA official said Hamas would not be allowed to jeopardize national
security and would be subject to Palestinian law. Qurei, as his predecessor,
Mahmoud Abbas, has pledged not to crack down on Hamas to ensure a ceasefire
in the war against Israel.
Qurei was expected to name a 24-member Cabinet over the weekend. At
least one Hamas supporter, Mussa Zabout, was expected to be offered a