GAZA - Hamas security forces have clashed with gunmen from a rival faction in the Gaza Strip after the Islamist group sought to enforce a weapons ban it imposed on the coastal enclave after seizing control there last month.
A member of Hamas' Executive Force security arm was killed and several other men on both sides were wounded in the clash, Hamas officials and medical workers said. The Executive Force has been policing Gaza for the past few weeks.
Local residents said the dispute began on Tuesday after members of Islamic Jihad, another Islamist group, had fired weapons in the air during a wedding celebration.
A Hamas force arrived at the wedding to end the celebratory gunfire - a custom Hamas banned after it routed the forces of the Western-backed, secular Palestinian president in June.
"The Executive Force gave them the chance to continue the party but asked them to hand over their weapons today," said Executive Force spokesman Islam Shahwan.
Shahwan said when the Islamic Jihad members failed to hand in their guns on Wednesday, Hamas forces were sent to the family's neighbourhood and a gunfight erupted.
"The action is against members of a family using the arms of Islamic Jihad. We are trying to contain (the fighting) and are in contact with Islamic Jihad," Shahwan said.