New crisis between Arafat, Abbas over nomination of Interior Minister
A possible crisis was developing in the Palestinian
Authority on Sunday after Palestinian President Yasser Arafat and the PLO's Executive Committee on Saturday nominated Brigadier General Nasser Yousef as Palestinian Interior Minister.
Yousef would receive control over security affairs, leaving current Security Affairs Minister Mohammed Dahlan with very limited powers.
Yousef, the former head of Palestinian public security in
the West Bank and Gaza Strip, still needs the approval of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) and Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas.
Abbas has apparently said that he would only agree to Yousef's appointment if the latter receives full
responsibility for all security forces including the national security and general intelligence forces, currently under Arafat's command. Arafat is reportedly refusing to agree to this, holding up Yousef's appointment.
In the meantime, Palestinian Information Minister Nabil Amr told Israel's Army Radio on Sunday that there was a crisis in the Palestinian Authority, but that they would cope with it.
He said he believed Yousef would actually turn down the offer of the interior ministry position as he would not be given enough powers over the security forces. Amr added that "we need Arafat and we need his cooperation and
I think the Americans in the last days said something like that. We have to find the formula how we can deal with our security forces and with the support of Yasser Arafat."
Moreover, Amr denied various Israeli media reports that Dahlan and Abbas are threatening to resign.
"There is a small crisis now about how we will strengthen the unity of our security forces...and how the Palestinians will enforce the willingness of the authority and the rule of law," Amr told Israel's Army Radio.
"We want to unify our security forces under one title, under one address," Amr explained.
In the meantime, Dahlan's spokesman denied that the security affairs minister was considering to quit if Yousef is appointed and said that the matter had been resolved.
According to the spokesman, the central committee did indeed debate a proposal to appoint Yousef as the new interior minister, however Arafat at the end decided not to appoint the former general, thus leaving Dahlan in charge of security issues. (Albawaba.com)
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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