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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

April 15, 2003

Abbas cabinet enrages Arafat

Article from Jerusalem Post tells us pretty much abut the newly apponted Minister's lack of power. Will he stay on as lackey?
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Efforts were under way in Ramallah Monday to arrange a sulha (reconciliation) between Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat and Prime Minister-designate Mahmoud Abbas after the two clashed over the composition of a new PA cabinet.

PA officials said Arafat seethed with anger when he saw Abbas's list of proposed ministers. "In the beginning, it appeared as if Arafat had accepted the list, but it quickly became apparent that he was very upset," said a senior official.

Palestinian analysts said Arafat's objection to some names on the list shows that Abbas is all but irrelevant. "This simply shows that Abbas can't do anything against Arafat's will," said one Palestinian analyst. "At the end of the day, Abbas will have to cave in or quit, because he won't be able to challenge Arafat."

Sunday night, an enraged Arafat called off a planned meeting with Fatah's central council to discuss Abbas's line-up. During a meeting later with Ahmed Qurei, the speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Arafat was overheard shouting.

"There is a crisis, but we are trying to resolve it," said Sakher Habash, a senior Fatah official. "It's not an easy task but I believe that Arafat and Abbas will overcome the obstacles." [more]