RAMALLAH, West Bank – Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia (search) will stay in his job at Yasser Arafat's (search) insistence, a Cabinet minister said Tuesday, ending a political crisis in the Palestinian government.
Qureia told his Cabinet he accepted Arafat's decision to reject of his resignation, which he submitted on Saturday following days of upheaval in the Gaza Strip (search), said Azzam Ahmed, the communications minister.
But Qureia was clearly angry at the lack of authority Arafat has granted the Cabinet to make and carry out decisions, and said he saw himself only as a caretaker premier, ministers said.
Qureia "told Arafat that his government must have real authority, especially over the security branches in order for it to be effective," said Qadoura Fares, a minister without portfolio.
Qureia said earlier he wanted to quit because of the growing state of chaos in Gaza and the disorder in the Palestinian security services.
The prime minister left the meeting from a back door of Arafat's headquarters in Ramallah to avoid speaking to reporters.
Arafat, who is president of the Palestinian Authority, attended the meeting but made no comment afterward.
The Cabinet crisis exploded after a series of kidnappings and violent demonstrations in Gaza last week, followed by Arafat's reshuffle of top security posts. He appointed his widely disliked cousin, Moussa Arafat, to the top security job in Gaza.
Interior Minister Hakam Balawi stormed out of an earlier Cabinet meeting, complaining that his position was powerless. He was quoted by other ministers as saying he couldn't even hire a policeman on his own authority.