Hamas urges dialogue to settle intern rift

Oct. 18, 2005 at 10:16 AM

GAZA, Oct. 18 (UPI) -- The Palestinian militant group Hamas has affirmed its total rejection of armed internal disputes and said it would adhere to dialogue to settle differences.

Hamas leader Sheik Ismail Haniya urged the group's militants at a lecture in a Gaza mosque Monday night "to exercise self-restraint and avoid resorting to arms in internal disputes."

"We stress the importance of avoiding side battles, barring the use of arms in settling internal differences and resorting to dialogue as the only means for settling disputes on the Palestinian scene," Haniya said.

"We should simply avoid internal struggle which will only serve the Israeli enemy," he added.

Haniya said Hamas is reviewing its internal policies and measures in order to avert any repetition of the fighting with Palestinian police which killed and injured several people in Gaza last month after Israel's withdrawal from the area.

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