Vote of confidence in Palestinian government postponed
The Palestinian Legislative Council decided Sunday to postpone the vote of confidence in the government of Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas from Monday to Thursday, largely as a result of American pressure, Israeli media reports said.
U.S. officials have told the Palestinian leadership that if Abbas' government falls, the United States will withdraw its support for the road map and for an independent Palestinian state, the reports added.
Israel has also sent a message to the Palestinian Authority, saying it will not recognize or negotiate with a government that is established by Yasser Arafat in the case of Abbas' removal from power.
On Sunday, Palestinian officials continued to try to reach a compromise between Arafat and Abbas over the distribution of control over the Palestinian security forces.
According to the plan, former West Bank security chief Jibril Rajoub would join the Palestinian security council, which is led by Arafat and counts among its members Abbas and the current PA security chief Mohammed Dahlan.
Meanwhile, a Palestinian minister said Sunday that the Palestinian Authority is holding contacts to contain the security deterioration between the Palestinians and Israelis.
Palestinian labor minister, Dr. Ghassan Al-Khateeb said in a radio statement broadcasted that "these contacts are namely with the US and members of the Quartet to calm the stance in the occupied Palestinian lands and resume negotiations." (Albawaba.com)
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)