( AP ) - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas lashed out at the Islamic militants of Hamas on Wednesday, accusing them of trying to build an "empire of darkness" in the Gaza Strip and pledging he would not negotiate with the "murderous terrorists."
Addressing Palestinians for the first time since Hamas seized control of Gaza a week ago, Abbas said Hamas had attacked "national symbols" during the fighting in the coastal territory, including ransacking the house of the late PLO leader Yasser Arafat.
On Thursday, an Abbas aide said that Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian leaders had been invited by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to attend a summit in Egypt. The meeting is to take place Sunday, the aide, Yasser Abed Rabbo, told The Associated Press.
In other developments, Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni talked by telephone Wednesday with Salam Fayyad, the prime minister named by Abbas to head a new Cabinet that excludes Hamas. It was the first direct contact between Israel and the new government.
"The establishment (of the new administration) facilitates progress on ... the peace process," a Foreign Ministry statement quoted Livni as saying.
On Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Israel would soon unfreeze millions of dollars in Palestinian tax receipts and turn them over to Abbas' administration.
Several hours before Abbas' speech, Israel fired missiles and sent tanks on a foray into Gaza, killing four Palestinians in the deadliest military action since Hamas militants took control there. Two more militants were killed by Israeli army fire in a shootout in the West Bank.
After nightfall, the Palestinians hit back with a barrage of rockets at the southern Israeli town of Sderot. First Hamas, then Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility. One rocket struck a house, and Israel TV said two Israelis were slightly wounded.
Mahmoud Zahar, the man widely believed to be leading Gaza's new Hamas regime, said the group would be open to a cease-fire with Israel if the army halted its activities in Gaza and the West Bank. Zahar said Hamas was capable of halting the frequent rocket fire out of Gaza, but would retaliate for strikes at any Palestinian militants.
"Nobody will be the protector of the Israeli border," he told The Associated Press.
Abbas' scathing criticism of Hamas came in a televised speech to a top PLO body, the Palestine National Council, seeking support for his declaring a state of emergency and his dismissing of the Hamas-led coalition Cabinet and naming an emergency Cabinet of moderates.
He hinted at the possibility of using the council to give formal approval to the new Cabinet, bypassing the Palestinian parliament, where Hamas has a majority. The council last convened in 2004, after the death of Abbas' predecessor, Arafat.
Abbas, leader of the more secular Fatah movement, was uncharacteristically harsh in his verbal attack on Hamas, which he said is trying to establish an "empire of darkness" in Gaza. He called it a conflict "between those who are using assassination and killing to achieve their goals, and those who are using the rules of law."
Disdaining Hamas, he added, "There is no dialogue with those murderous terrorists."
"Our main goal is to prevent sedition from spreading to the West Bank, ... to prevent violations by any party, and to deal (with everyone) equally, based on law," he said.
At one point, Abbas described in great detail what he said was a Hamas attempt to assassinate him. He said he obtained video of Hamas members dragging explosives through a tunnel they dug under Gaza's main road - the one he takes to his office - and saying "this is for Abu Mazen," Abbas' nickname.
He said he sent the tape to Hamas' supreme leader, Khaled Mashaal, who lives in exile in Syria, and to Arab leaders to illustrate Hamas intentions.
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri hotly rejected Abbas' comments. "What he said was disgusting and not appropriate for the Palestinian president," Zuhri said. "The president has harmed himself with his words."
In an attempt to consolidate its power, the West Bank-based government that Abbas installed Sunday annulled all decisions made by the previous Hamas-led administration, Information Minister Riyad al-Malki said.
He said security personnel were being deployed across the West Bank to keep order.
Al-Malki also said Palestinian travel documents would now be issued only in the West Bank. If recognized internationally, as expected, that would mean Gazans could no longer travel abroad.
In his speech, Abbas reiterated his view that the time is ripe for Palestinians to restart peace talks with Israel, whose existence is opposed by Hamas. "The atmosphere is not preventing a start to negotiations" under the auspices of an international conference, he said.
Aide Yasser Abed Rabbo told Palestinian radio that Abbas would meet next week with the Israeli prime minister, who stood with President Bush on Tuesday to express support for Abbas. Olmert's office confirmed the two men would meet but said a date had not been set.
Some 200 Palestinians hoping to flee Gaza were still huddled in a concrete passageway at the Erez border crossing, the main conduit between Gaza and Israel that has been closed since the start of the Hamas takeover.
The Israeli military said a teenager with leukemia and four other Palestinians in need of medical care were allowed to cross Wednesday.
Israel also allowed in all foreign nationals living in Gaza. Military spokesman Shadi Yassin said buses brought over some 90 Ukrainians, and Russia's ITAR-Tass news agency reported the evacuation of 69 Russian and seven Belarusian citizens was completed. The Red Cross coordinated the transfer Tuesday of seven Palestinians who had been wounded in the Gaza fighting and hoped to arrange for six to nine more to cross, spokesman Bernard Barrett said.
The U.N. World Food Program, meanwhile, began trucking in 225 metric tons of food into Gaza through Israel, in addition to 200 metric tons of food and medical supplies sent in Tuesday.