The national dialogue continued on Wednesday in the offices of the Palestine Liberation Organization in Gaza City. All Palestinian parties participated, according to Saleh Zaidan of the leftist Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine's Political Bureau.However speaking for Islamic Jihad, Daoud Shihab said the movement still has no intention of joining any coalition government at this point. He said that negotiations are getting ahead of themselves as the problem is not with ministerial positions, but rather with the new government's political program.
Zaidan is also a member of the Monitoring Committee for the national dialogue said that at the first meeting on Tuesday evening participants agreed to form a committee to draft the government's program. On Wednesday five points were drafted which are to be presented during Friday's meeting.
The five points include forming a national unity government, activating the PLO, forming the National Security Council, the democratization of social and professional associations, and forming a unified resistance front.
Zaidan added that the meeting began with a discussion of the possible look of the coalition government, distributing working papers and quickly approving forming a mini-committee to formulate the political program of the unity government.
Speaking with PNN, Zaidan said that the Damascus meeting between President Abbas and head of the Hamas political bureau Khalid Mashal did resolve outstanding differences such as the Minister of Interior position, negotiations with the Israelis, and refusing to duplicate duties by the presidency, the government, and the PLO. The last item will be entirely solved by a national unity government, the leftist told PNN.
A leader in Hamas, Mohammed Aziz, told PNN that the party is prepared for serious dialogue on the basis of forming a unity government in order to get the blockade lifted, but not to kowtow to American or Quartet conditions. He pointed out that Mashal, who lives in exile in Damascus, is being kept abreast of the Gaza City proceedings.
Mashal and Abbas agreed on Sunday that talks for the new government would be completed within two weeks. This comes after months of faltering and a complete cessation called for by President Abbas last month after Hamas and Fateh came to an impasse over points of contention.