Violence between Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip has badly damaged the territory's social fabric, a senior Hamas official has said.

Speaking a year after Hamas took control of Gaza, ousting Fatah, Ahmed Youssef regretted the bloodshed.

"[Most] people are actually taking sides, and the polarisation became stronger than before," he told the BBC.

Youssef, an adviser to Hamas leader in Gaza Ismail Haniya said only national reconciliation could ease the crisis.

"I wish that we never kill(ed) each other, we never had (such) bloodshed among the Palestinians..." he said.

"It caused a lot of damage to the Palestinian social fabric and now you know most of the people are actually taking sides, and the polarisation became stronger than before.

"I wish if we reached a national reconciliation, we'll be able to recover from all these sufferings because of the takeover."

Living conditions in Gaza have been badly affected by Israeli sanctions aimed at putting pressure on Hamas and the territory has had a year of international isolation.

Egypt is currently trying to broker a truce between Israel and Hamas.

Earlier this week Israel said it would support Egypt's efforts but instructed the army to prepare for possible military action in Gaza if they failed.

BBC News