The armed wing of the governing Palestinian movement Hamas said it had freed a senior Fatah official who was abducted earlier in the Gaza Strip.
Abu Ubaida, a spokesman for the armed wing, said Sufian Abu Zaida, who is also a former Palestinian cabinet minister, had been freed as "a gesture of goodwill despite the fact a leading Hamas figure remained a captive of Fatah".
Sufian Abu Zaydeh, 48, a former Cabinet minister, was captured in the northern Gaza Strip, according to Fatah spokesman Abdul Rahim Awad. Abu Zaydeh was driving alone to his home when he was stopped by gunmen in another car, abducted, and taken in the direction of the town of Beit Lahiya, Awad said.
There were no claims of responsibility, but Fatah officials said they believed Hamas was behind the kidnapping. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they said they feared for their safety. Hamas officials declined comment.
Chaos reigns. Armed gunmen in Gaza Strip (Photo: AP)
15 wounded, 8 abducted
Parallel to the kidnapping, fire clashes continued in the Gaza Strip. Shooting combat opened between Fatah and Hamas gunmen close to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' quarters in Gaza, and in Jabaliya, in the north of the Gaza Strip.
Fatah activist Ahmad Ziyada was killed in fire clashes in Jabaliya and four others were wounded. In total, some 15 people were wounded Monday, and eight people have been taken captive.
Monday afternoon there was a fire exchange between gunmen from both factions near Palestinian Foreign Minister Mahmoud al-Zahar's office in Gaza.
In another incident, it was reported that armed Palestinians, probably Hamas members, abducted two Palestinian security personnel, as a response to the kidnapping of Hamas activists by Fatah activists Sunday night in the same area.
A few hours earlier, school children clashed with the Palestinian government's special security forces on the Gaza Strip. Seven students were wounded in the clashes.
Three people were injured in another incident in fire exchanges near the Palestinian security staff's headquarters.
In an attempt to reason with the rioters, the Islamic Jihad held a procession in the north of the Strip in the Jabaliya and Bet Lihya areas, where fire clashes had been going on during the day between Hamas and Fatah.
The demonstrators protested the internal killings and wished to separate between the fighting factions.
Ali Waked contributed to the report