Gaza: A senior Hamas official has dismissed any reconciliation talks with the rival Fatah group.

His remark yesterday followed claims by the fighters that they emerged victorious after the group survived a relentless three-week offensive by Israel on the Gaza Strip.

Sami Khater, a member of the fighter group's Damascus-based branch, says Arab and international donations to reconstruct the war-devastated Gaza should go directly to Hamas and not to rival Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas whose faction rules the West Bank.

Khater says Abbas and his Palestinian National Authority cannot be trusted. Khater says a Hamas delegation will travel to Cairo this weekend for talks with Egyptian mediators on ways to consolidate a Gaza ceasefire in place since last Sunday.

A top aide of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas accused Hamas yesterday of "obstructing" efforts to reconcile the warring Palestinian political factions, by raising "new conditions."

Yasser Abed Rabbo said Abbas' secular Fatah movement was willing to form a national unity government with Hamas.

But the radical Islamist movement was raising new conditions because it was not interested in reconciliation and was instead working to consolidate its hold over the Gaza Strip, he said.

He accused Hamas of killing, arresting and torturing Fatah fighters in Gaza. "Hamas has turned its guns from the enemy [Israel] to Fatah after the withdrawal of the occupiers" from Gaza, he said, charging that Hamas had turned hospitals and mosques into detention and interrogation centres for Fatah members after Israel has destroyed all the security buildings in the strip during its 22-day offensive.

The social affairs minister in the West Bank-based Palestinian government yesterday accused gunmen from the Hamas movement in the Gaza Strip of hijacking dozens of trucks carrying aid intended for residents reeling from the three-week-long Israeli assault. Mahmoud Habbash told Voice of Palestine Radio that the trucks were supposed to come under the authority of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency.

Hamas however says the supply trucks were dispatched by Arab donors specifically for the Hamas administration in the Strip, and to no other group, to distribute to the people of Gaza. As a result, on arrival in the Strip the trucks were directed to Hamas warehouses, officials from the Islamist movement said, adding that they have papers from the donor countries showing that the supplies were sent to the Hamas administration.

UN officials have also said that none of its supply and aid trucks have been hijacked or attacked by any armed group inside Gaza.

Habbash further accused Hamas gunmen of executing members of its rival, President Mahmoud Abbas' secular Fatah group, during and after the Israeli assault.

A spokesman for the Hamas Ministry of Interior in the Strip said yesterday that "any collaborator will be arrested" but added that the movement "will do nothing outside the law."

"Anyone who is proved to have helped the occupation [Israel] will be arrested," Ehab Gassain said.

He said Hamas was not working against Fatah but against collaborators, and accused the secular movement of lying to "cover up its own lack of help" to Gaza residents during and after the Israeli offensive.