Hamas rejects joining PA cabinet - UPI
- Hamas rejects joining PA cabinet
By Saud Abu Ramadan
From the International Desk
Published 6/2/2002 9:35 PM
GAZA, June 3 (UPI) -- The Islamic resistance movement
Hamas rejected a Palestinian Authority offer to join a
revamped Cabinet under Chairman Yasser Arafat,
hampering Palestinian efforts to reform their
Isma'eel Abu Shanab, a senior Hamas movement leader in
Gaza, told United Press International late Sunday that
after an internal Hamas leadership debate on the
overture, the movement was declining to join a new
Palestinian Authority government.
Official Palestinian sources reportedly said Arafat
decided to nominate two Islamic Hamas leaders for
posts in a new Cabinet. Abu Shanab denied the reports
and said that the movement had issued its decision not
to participate in the new government.
"The movement is studying how to present a draft to
the Palestinian Authority that calls for complete,
comprehensive reforms in the Palestinian community
that take into consideration the needs of the
Palestinian people in the present and the future,"
said Abu Shanab.
Hours earlier, Abdullah El Shami, an Islamic Jihad
senior leader in Gaza said that his organization had
also rejected the authority's offer to participate in
a new Cabinet.
The Palestinian Authority's information minister,
Yasser Abed Rabbo, said the government invited all
Palestinian political groups, including Hamas and
Islamic Jihad, as well as other Palestine Liberation
Organization opposition groups.
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and
the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine
announced their rejection a few days ago of an offer
to join a reshuffled Cabinet.
Abed Rabbo had said that Arafat plans to make changes
in the Cabinet in the next few days, adding that the
number of Cabinet ministers would not be more than 20
compared with the current one that includes more than
Reshuffling the Cabinet, combining Palestinian
security apparatuses and having municipal and
parliamentarian elections by the end of this year came
as part of the changes that Arafat said he would like
to carry out soon.
The proposed reforms were made under pressure from
Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank. Israel, Europe
and the United States also pressured him, saying that
a reformed Palestinian Authority might end the ongoing
violence between Israel and the Palestinians.
Copyright © 2002 United Press International
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