The fighting was the latest in a series of incidents that have further stoked tensions between Abbas' Fatah movement and Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip.

Earlier this week, three police officers, two Hamas fighters and a bystander were killed in fighting in Qalqilya, following a dawn raid on suspected Hamas members.

The raid sparked angry demonstrations by Hamas supporters in the Gaza Strip.

Hamas says that Fatah-dominated security forces are pursuing a politically motivated crackdown against Hamas activists, a claim which Fatah has also made about Hamas in Gaza.