One Dead in Clash Between Hamas, Islamic Jihad in Gaza

November 7, 2007

Author: Staff Writer

Source: Haaretz

Wire Service: AP

A funeral for a dead militant turned violent in Gaza on Wednesday when Hamas men opened fire at supporters of the rival Islamic Jihad faction, leaving one person dead, medical officials said.

The Hamas men began shooting after Islamic Jihad members threw stones at a Hamas police station during the funeral of an Islamic Jihad gunman, witnesses said. The gunman was wounded in a battle with Hamas last week and died overnight.

One unarmed Islamic Jihad supporter was killed and three others were wounded, medical officials said.

Islamic Jihad and Hamas are both radical Muslim groups with ties to Iran and Syria, but tensions between the organizations have risen since June, when Hamas defeated the secularist Fatah movement and took over Gaza.

Islamic Jihad, which is far smaller than Hamas, resents the attempt by Gaza's new rulers to force it to accept Hamas' sovereignty and new rules allowing only Hamas men to carry weapons.

Two people - an Islamic Jihad member and a civilian - were killed in clashes between the groups last week.