The Palestinian parliament postponed a vote of confidence over Yasser Arafat's new cabinet Tuesday amid mounting criticism that he had not done enough to overhaul his government.
Some Palestinian lawmakers criticized the appointment of the new cabinet as a revolving door of the same old faces. "There was no genuine change in the government," said Jamal Shati, a lawmaker from Jenin who is also a member of Fatah. According to Reuters, he said some of the ministers who lost portfolios remained on the payroll in other capacities.
Parliament Speaker Ahmed Qurei said the legislative council would meet again Wednesday, when its legal committee would decide whether legislators should vote to endorse the entire cabinet or just vote on the new ministers.
Meanwhile, Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres held talks in Jerusalem with a Palestinian delegation led by Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator.
"The only agreement was to agree to meet again," Erekat told Reuters.
A statement issued by Peres' office after the meeting said that in the next few days, Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer would meet with his Palestinian counterpart, Palestinian Authority Interior Minister Abdel Razek Yehiyeh, to discuss a Palestinian proposal that Israel pull its forces out of the section of Hebron.
"In every place where you can prove that you are taking responsibility (for stopping terror attacks), we will pull out," Peres told the Palestinians, according to the statement. (Albawaba.com)
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