At least two Palestinians were killed and more than 15 others sustained wounds in the fighting, which took place in several locations across the Gaza Strip, Palestinian sources reported.
The sources said one of those killed is a 10-year-old boy. The other one is reportedly an unidentified 18-year-old youngster.
Eyewitnesses in Gaza reported a heavy deployment of Palestinian Authority forces and armored vehicles on city streets. The sources added Hamas members could be seen directing automatic and mortar fire at PA forces, posts, and vehicles.
The most serious exchanges of fire were reported in Gaza City. During the clashes, Hamas members reportedly torched an armored vehicle belonging to the Palestinian Authority.
PA officials concerned
Meanwhile, the Hamas has demanded in an official statement the resignation of Palestinian Interior Minister Nasser Yousef. The terror group blames Yousef for the recent escalation in violence between Hamas and Palestinian security forces.
On Thursday, Hamas members presented in a press conference a document on behalf of Yousef that includes an explicit order to open fire at Palestinian gunmen who fire at Israeli targets.
The Hamas statement notes that Yousef’s order is apparently the result of meetings held between the Palestinian minister and Israeli officials and is “aimed at undermining and eliminating Palestinian resistance.”
Official PA sources expressed concerns regarding a possible escalation of violence ahead of and following Friday prayers.
In earlier clashes overnight, five Hamas members and a Palestinian security officer were hurt. One of the injured Hamas members was said to be in serious condition.
Meanwhile, Palestinian security officials continued their discussions Friday in a bid to resolve the tensions. However, PA officials said quiet contacts are unlikely to remain the only course of action adopted by the Authority