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Arafat Signs Decree Announcing Emergency State


Arafat Signs Decree Announcing Emergency State and Cabinet

RAMALLAH, Palestine, October 6,2003 (IPC + Agencies) - - Palestinian President Yasser Arafat signed on Sunday a decree forming an emergency government with eight ministers, headed by Ahmad Qurei' as Prime Minister, so as to meet the Palestinian national interests under the critical situation in the occupied Palestinian territories.

President Arafat also announced also an emergency state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The eight minister of the emergency government were: Ahmed Qurei’ as Prime Minister, Nasser Yousef as Interior Minister, Salam Fayyad as Finance Minister, Nabil Sha’th as Foreign Minister. Qurei' listed another five members of the Cabinet as ministers, Saeb Erekat, the current chief negotiator; Nabil Abul Hummus, the current Education Minister; Jamal Shobaki, the current Minister of Local Governance Affairs; and two legislators from the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), Abdel Rahman Hamad and Jawad Al-Tibi.

The paramount task of the new cabinet as announced by the decree is devoted to enhance the national unity besides its other basic tasks.

President Arafat told reporters yesterday in his battered compound in Rammallah that the Israeli escalation in the Palestinian territories and outside is aiming to abort the peace chances and to thwart the formation of a new Palestinian government.

Qurei' also said he would try to implement the U.S.-backed "Road Map" peace plan and "work ... to get out of this situation of chaos in the Palestinian territories."

”Taking into consideration the difficult situation of the Palestinian people and the necessities imposed by the situation, President Arafat issued a presidential decree by which he declared a state of emergency ... and formed an emergency government headed by me," Qurei' told The AP on Sunday.

PM Qurei’ said the government would "operate for one month" after which it would seek the approval of the PLC.

He also asserted that the new government will operate in accordance with the new formation and the given authority, including the enhancement of national unity, hunting down anarchy, enforce orders and laws.

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