Gaza City : Hamas leader Ismail Haniya has outlined a "basis" for reconciliation after the Islamic movement seized control of the Gaza Strip and kicked out senior leaders from rival Fatah.
Haniya's vision was mainly based on restructuring the security services – often loyal to President Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah – plus respecting signed Hamas-Fatah deals and staging a general national reconciliation.
Haniya, deposed from his post as a prime minister following Hamas control of Gaza, made the remarks in a speech at the Hamas-run Islamic University of Gaza.
He also said Palestinians should "protect their national principles and rights, respecting the legitimacy and dealing with the democratic choice as the solo option for rotating the authority".
"Any talks should go according to the principles rather than (US President George) Bush's vision."
Haniya meanwhile sent a message to those Fatah people who remained in Gaza, urging them to "take advantage of the new status".
Reacting to reports alleging Hamas abuse of Fatah partisans, Haniya stressed that no one had been detained for political reasons. Earlier, a spokesman for Hamas' Executive Forces said the arrests had been made as part of the fight against crime.
Haniya, the Hamas leader also called on his new Fatah counterpart in the Gaza Strip, Zakariya al-Agha, for a meeting "to resolve any problem".
Fatah chief President Abbas bans any dialogue with Hamas unless the latter removes the consequences of its "coup" in the territory.