Gaza: Hamas-Islamic Jihad clash kills 1

Fighting follows celebratory gunfire at wedding - a practice banned by Hamas.

islamic jihad 248 88 ap (photo credit: )
islamic jihad 248 88 ap
(photo credit: )
Hamas opened fire on an Islamic Jihad stronghold in the Gaza Strip late Wednesday, setting off a firefight in which one person was killed, security officials said. The clash resulted from an incident the night before, when Islamic Jihad gunmen fired in the air in celebration during a wedding, both sides said. Hamas has banned firing weapons in public. On Wednesday, Hamas fired a rocket at a house in Gaza City and traded fire with Islamic Jihad operatives inside, wounding 10 people, hospital officials said. One gunmen later died of his wounds, Hamas said. Gunfire could be heard for several hours. Islamic Jihad leader Khader Habib said the raid was unnecessary. "I solved the situation at the wedding yesterday," he said. Hamas said in a statement that the Islamic Jihad operatives were ordered to hand over their weapons but failed to do so, and "we implemented the law." The incident is an indication of growing animosity between the two extremist Islamic groups, now that their common enemy, has been vanquished. Hamas has pledged to keep the streets of Gaza safe, a contrast to the gang warfare and widespread crime that was prevalent while Fatah was in control, and appears to be sending a signal to other armed groups that they must buckle under to Hamas rule.