A gunfight between Palestinian security forces and the newly established Hamas militia Thursday afternoon left one police officer dead and four others wounded in the latest outbreak of internal Palestinian fighting, doctors and witnesses said.
The death brought to at least 10 the number of people killed in internal violence over the past month. Both Hamas and the security force accused each other of sparking the shootout.
The fight in Gaza City occurred when a group of police riding in a car on their way back from the funeral of a top security commander clashed with the new militia, security officials said.
Hamas militiamen said they were attacked by a group of gunmen as they manned their post in the middle of the city.
The violence was the latest in a string of gunfights, assassinations and other attacks between members of the Fatah-controlled security forces and a new security unit
formed by the Hamas-led Cabinet to counter Fatah's control of the streets.
Tensions have been high between the two groups since Hamas won Palestinian elections in January, giving it control of the Cabinet. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, of Fatah, was elected separately last year.
Talks in Ramallah Thursday were designed to defuse the crisis.