The Palestinian Authority's security forces clashed with Hamas
members in Qalqilya on Thursday morning, only several days after a deadly battle which left six people dead
in the West Bank city.
Thursday's gunfight began near one of the city's squares, shifting to a house encircled by PA officers in search of at least one wanted Hamas man.
A member of the Palestinian Preventive Security Service and three Hamas members were killed in the
Hundreds of security officers encircled a number of houses in which a Hamas cell, led by senior organization member Muhammad Atia, had barricaded itself.
Sources in the PA reported that the barricaded men were three members of the cell of Muahmmad al-Saman, the leader of Hamas' military wing in the city who was killed in the deadly clashes earlier this week.
A Hamas source recently slammed the "treachery of the PA, which has reinforced its pursuit against the movement's members."
Senior Hamas member Sami Abu Zuhri rushed to respond to the Qalqilya incident, referring to it as "a gift from the Palestinian Authority to Israel
and to (US President Barack) Obama in honor of his visit
to the region."
According to Abu Zuhri, "This criminal event is part of the commitments made by Abu Mazen (Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas) to Obama during his recent visit to the United States, to implement the Road Map. We call on our people in the West Bank not to turn themselves in to the PA organizations."
He added that as far as Hamas was concerned, the PA's security organizations were collaborating with Israel. "This is what they did in the Strip before we purified it of those organizations, and this is what they are doing now in the West Bank – and our people must see and judge. We will view those organizations as agents of the occupation."
Meanwhile, Palestinians security forces are also chasing a Hamas cell in the city of Tulkarem. Abu Ubaida, a spokesman for the organization's military wing, called on the wanted men on Wednesday not to turn themselves in and to forcefully fight any attempt to arrest them.