Three people were killed Wednesday in a clash between Hamas security forces and Palestinians loyal to the rival Fatah party, said reports.

Two of the dead were members of Hamas and one was part of the Heles clan, a group affiliated with Fatah, said a Hamas spokesperson.

More than a dozen people were reportedly injured, said the spokesperson.

Members of the two rival factions have clashed repeatedly since Hamas took control of Gaza and Fatah seized power in the West Bank earlier this year.

The violence started when the Fatah-linked gunmen opened fire on the Hamas members, said the spokesperson. A Fatah official said Hamas security forces were trying to confiscate a car that belonged to a clan member.

Witnesses said the two sides used rocket propelled grenades and heavy machine guns in the clash.

Hamas forces closed off the neighbourhood of al-Shojaiyah east of Gaza City to arrest wanted members of the clan.

With files from the Associated Press