Fatah claims suicide attack near Tulkarem as Qurei reportedly asks Arafat to quit
A suicide bomber detonated himself Thursday afternoon at an occupation roadblock near Tulkarem, shortly before 2 p.m. (local time), according to Israel Radio. According to the report, two Israeli soldiers were wounded, one of them seriously.
Fatah's al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades claimed responsibility for the attack. Hours after the bombing, Israeli forces raided Tulkarem.
Meanwhile, Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei, also known as Abu Ala, told Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat on Thursday he wants to quit, according to Palestinian officials.
"Qurei told Arafat he will not form the cabinet and doesn't
want to be Prime Minister anymore," one of the officials
The officials added Arafat wanted to dismiss Minister of Interior Nasser Youssef, who would have security powers, and that Qurei opposed the move.
Earlier in the day, the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) delayed a vote on the emergency cabinet of Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei due to last-minute political disputes, according to legislators.
Parliament members had already assembled in the West Bank city of Ramallah and had been waiting for an hour for the
session to begin when the announcement of the postponement was suddenly made.
Qurei was expected to outline his government's agenda to the PLC, and legislators would have been able to question the designated ministers. Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was also scheduled to address the session.
A day earlier, Qurei presided over the first meeting of his emergency cabinet, which in principle can govern for one month.
He said that he would on Thursday seek parliament approval for the ministers, turning them into a regular cabinet, and that he hoped to broaden his government eventually. (Albawaba.com)
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)