A two-year-old boy was killed in the crossfire, in the midst of increasing violence between Hamas and Fatah, Thursday night. Hassan Abu Nada is the fifth fatality since the onset of renewed infighting on Wednesday. His grandmother was wounded in the gunbattle.
The clashes broke out after Rami Sarur, a member of al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, Fatah's military wing, was killed in Beit Lahiya on Wednesday. On Thursday evening, the two sides escalated attacks against one another by setting rivals' homes on fire.
A number of Palestinians, primarily affiliated with Fatah, were wounded by Hamas gunfire, although Fatah sources said that Hamas gunmen were shooting indiscriminately. Calls to bring security forces into the area were unsuccessful, the sources said.
A meeting between the two sides, mediated by new Interior Minister Hani el-Kawasmi, was unable to stop the escalation of violence.
Gunmen return to Gaza streets (Photo: AP)
Hamas political sources continue to claim that they have no direct relation to the incidents, and that Sarur was killed when a mortar that he was planning to fire at Hamas forces exploded prior to launching.
Sources in Gaza fear that the upcoming weekend will be bloody, which will likely hinder communication between the two parties in the unity government.