Arafat meets Palestinian cabinet in bid to end turmoil

Arafat meets Palestinian cabinet in bid to end turmoil

RAMALLAH, West Bank – Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was meeting with the cabinet yesterday in a bid to defuse a political crisis which has seen his prime minister Ahmed Qorei refuse to retract his resignation.

Local government minister Jamal al-Shubaki said the entire cabinet was attending the meeting which began at 8h00 at Arafat’s battered Ramallah headquarters, also known as the Muqataa. Qorei, who submitted his resignation on Saturday after an unprecedented spate of kidnappings in the Gaza Strip, refused comment about his position to reporters outside his offices in the West Bank town of Abu Dis early yesterday.But after a cabinet session on Monday, he had confirmed that he regarded his resignation as still “effective” even though Arafat has refused to accept it.Mass protests erupted in Gaza Saturday after Arafat appointed his unpopular cousin Musa as head of the Palestinian general security service as part of a revamp which saw the number of security services axed from eight to three.He subsequently demoted Musa on Monday by naming Abdel Razzeq al-Majeida as overall security supremo with his cousin’s responsibility limited to Gaza.Qorei said after Monday’s cabinet meeting that a ministerial committee had been established to tackle the crisis in Gaza and would soon head to the territory to meet with officials and factions there.The committee met with Arafat late Monday but there were no official comments after the meeting.- Nampa-AFPQorei, who submitted his resignation on Saturday after an unprecedented spate of kidnappings in the Gaza Strip, refused comment about his position to reporters outside his offices in the West Bank town of Abu Dis early yesterday.But after a cabinet session on Monday, he had confirmed that he regarded his resignation as still “effective” even though Arafat has refused to accept it.Mass protests erupted in Gaza Saturday after Arafat appointed his unpopular cousin Musa as head of the Palestinian general security service as part of a revamp which saw the number of security services axed from eight to three.He subsequently demoted Musa on Monday by naming Abdel Razzeq al-Majeida as overall security supremo with his cousin’s responsibility limited to Gaza.Qorei said after Monday’s cabinet meeting that a ministerial committee had been established to tackle the crisis in Gaza and would soon head to the territory to meet with officials and factions there.The committee met with Arafat late Monday but there were no official comments after the meeting.- Nampa-AFP

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