GAZA, June 4 (RIA Novosti) - One Palestinian police
officer and three Hamas militants were killed during a shootout
in the West Bank, Fatah's news website reported on Thursday.
The shootout occurred in the city of Qalqilyah when
Fatah-backed police authorities were attempting to arrest
Islamic militants who were hiding out in an apartment and
refused to surrender.
Under similar circumstances on Sunday in Qalqilyah, six
Palestinians were killed, including three police officers.
Sunday's incident was the largest armed conflict between the
Fatah and Hamas movements in the West Bank.
Shootouts of this sort were common in the Gaza Strip until
Hamas took control of the enclave in June 2007 and pushed the
Fatah movement out. Hamas has since remained in power in Gaza,
independent of the officially recognized government of Fatah in
the West Bank, which is headed by Palestinian President Mahmoud
Egypt is brokering talks between the two sides aimed at
paving the way for a return to unified government and
presidential and parliamentary elections.