Palestinian parliamentary approval session postponed as top Arafat aide warns against deportation
Newly appointed Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei was expected to have presented an eight-member emergency cabinet to parliament for approval on Thursday, however the meeting was postponed until Sunday because Israel denied several legislators travel permits.
For its part, Israel cited bureaucratic reasons, saying requests for travel permits were not made early enough to be approved in time.
Meanwhile, also Thursday, Arafat's top aide Ahmed Abdel Rahman warned that the deportation of the Palestinian leader would set the Mid-East region on the brink of an abyss.
Hard-liners in Israel's Prime Minister Sharon's cabinet have long called for the expulsion of Arafat.
Israel's Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom, who supports the deportation of Arafat, told Army Radio Thursday that he believes that there is a majority within the cabinet supporting the move.
"The moment Arafat is out, someone else will sprout up after him and will control the security forces, the PA's funds," Shalom said. "The moment he isn't here, more moderate officials will be able to move in after him."
Likud Minister Israel Katz said Thursday that Israel does not have to wait to receive Washington's authorization to expel the Palestinian leader.
"As far as I know, there is no Israeli commitment to the Americans not to take action," Katz said. "Israel is allowed, able and obligated to make its own decisions." (Albawaba.com)
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