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Palestinian Cabinet members


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ABU MAZEN

Born 1935, village of Safad, seven miles from the Sea of Galilee.

Key player in secret talks leading to 1993 Oslo Accords.

Former PLO ambassador to Moscow.

Met with U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice in Washington in 2001.

Formerly Yasser Arafat's chief lieutenant and secretary-general of the PLO's executive committee.
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RAMALLAH, West Bank (CNN) -- The Palestinian parliament approved Mahmoud Abbas -- popularly known as Abu Mazen -- as prime minister of the Palestinian Authority on Tuesday. The parliament also approved his 24-member Cabinet.

The following is the list of Cabinet members, along with their political affiliation and position:

1. Mahmoud Abbas (a.k.a. Abu Mazen) (Fatah), prime minister and Interior minister

• The founding member of Fatah, the mainstream faction and nationalist movement of the Palestine Liberation Organization. It is dedicated to the formation of an independent Palestinian state. Abbas was a signatory to the 1993 Oslo Agreement, which granted the Palestinians limited self-rule.

2. Yasser Abed Rabbo (Independent), minister of Cabinet Affairs

• Longtime Palestinian Cabinet minister and senior member of the Palestinian negotiation team. Has attended all major negotiations including those at Camp David in 2000, where so-called "final-status" issues such as refugees and the status of Jerusalem were not resolved. Previously the minister of culture and information.

3. Nabil Sha'ath (Fatah), minister of External Affairs

• A longtime figure in Palestinian politics, he headed the PLO's first delegation to the United Nations in 1974. Lived in exile and returned to Gaza in 1994. Previously the minister of Planning and International Cooperation.

4. Salam Fayyad (Independent), minister of Finance

• Has served in this position since June 2002 and has written a number of research papers on the Palestinian economy.

5. Nabeel Kassis (Independent), minister of Planning

• Previously the minister of Tourism, he is currently the coordinator of the Ministerial Committee for Reform, which is charged with overseeing reforms of the Palestinian Authority. He is a trained theoretical nuclear physicist who has taught in six countries.

6. Rafiq Al-Natsheh (Fatah), minister of Agriculture

• Has served in this position since last year. Before that, he spent four years as minister of Labor. Worked in Qatar for the minister of Education from 1956-1970.

7. Hamdan Ashour (Fatah), minister of Housing and Public Works

• Has been a Fatah member since its creation in 1959. In exile, he organized Palestinian members of Fatah in Europe from 1960-1967 and in Lebanon in 1967. Currently the secretary-general of the Fatah Revolutionary Council.

8. Abdul Karim Abu Salah (Independent), minister of Justice

• A lawyer by trade, he was recently chairman of the Legal Committee and a member of the PLC Budget and Financial Affairs Committee.

9. Ghassan Khatib (Palestinian People's Party), minister of Labor

• Was appointed Labor minister last year. Founder and director of the Jerusalem Media and Communications Center, a nongovernmental group that conducts public opinion polls and supports journalists in the territories.

10. Naim Abu Hommos (Fatah), minister of Education and Higher Education

• Has served in this post since last year, and has held education posts in the government since 1989. Joined Fatah at 14.

11. Jamal Shobaki (Fatah), minister of Local Government

• Imprisoned for 10 years by Israel during the first Palestinian uprising. Currently a member of the PLO Central Council and the Fatah Revolutionary Council.

12. Mohammed Dahlan (Fatah), minister of State for security affairs

• Jailed for five years by Israel, then expelled in 1988 to Jordan. From exile, he helped organize the first Palestinian intifada from 1987-1994. Participated in the talks at Wye River in 1999 and Camp David in 2000.

13. Ziad Abu Amr (Independent), minister of Culture

• Current chairman of the PLC Political Committee. An advocate of reform and democratization in the Palestinian Authority.

14. Nabil Amr (Fatah), minister of Information

• Has served as Yasser Arafat's media adviser, and was the PLO's ambassador to the Soviet Union and Russia from 1988-1993. The founder and director of the Palestinian newspaper al-Hayat al-Jadida, director of the Palestinian Authority's Radio and Television Authority, and previous director of the Voice of Palestine radio station.

15. Azzam Shawwa (Fatah), minister of Energy

• The Gaza Branch coordinator of the Arab Bank, he previously worked at the Bank of Palestine. Treasurer of the Palestine Investment Fund and secretary-general of the Palestine Banking Association.

16. Kamal Al-Shirafi (Independent), minister of Health

• A surgeon, he is a member of the PLC's Monitoring Human Rights and Public Freedoms Committee. Has been imprisoned on numerous occasions for political activism.

17. Saeb Erakat (Fatah), minister of Negotiation Affairs

• Previously the minister of Local Government, he has been a senior member of the Palestinian negotiation team. He has been involved extensively in all negotiations with Israel, including those at Camp David in 2000.

18. Mitri Abu Aita (Fatah), minister of Tourism

• In 1998, he served as minister of Tourism and was appointed minister of Transportation in June 2002. An active lawyer, he was involved in the hotel and tourism industry for more than 20 years.

19. Maher Masri (Fatah), minister of Economy and Trade

• Has served in this position since 1996. An advocate of a free Palestinian market, he also serves on several Palestinian economic groups. He was an economist in Beirut, Lebanon, and later worked in the private sector in Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

20. Hisham Abdalraziq (Fatah), minister of Prisoner Affairs

• Imprisoned by Israel for 21 years. On his release in 1994, he became a member of the Higher Committee of Fatah in Gaza and was appointed to his current post in 1998.

21. Intisar Al-Wazir (a.k.a. Um Jihad) (Fatah), minister of Social Affairs

• Joined Fatah in 1959 as the party's first female member. Has led a number of groups for women, literacy, the elderly and the disabled. Lived in exile for 30 years with her husband, Khalil al-Wazir, the co-founder of Fatah, who was assassinated in 1988.

22. Sa'edi Al-Krounz (Fatah), minister of Transportation

• Served as the first minister of industry in 1994. Holds a doctorate in mathematics and statistics. Former head of the math and statistics department at the Islamic University and Al-Azhar University in Gaza, and has written extensively on statistics.

23. Abdul Fattah Hamayel (Fatah), minister of State

• Imprisoned by Israel for 17 years. Was given seven life sentences for attempting to organize Palestinians but was released in 1985 as part of a prisoner exchange. Was jailed again in 1990 and later exiled before returning to the territories in 1994.

24. Azzam Ahmed (Fatah), minister of Telecommunications and Information Technology

• Has served as minister of Public Works and Housing since 1996. Served as PLO representative to Iraq from 1979-1994.

25. To be appointed, minister of Religious Affairs


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