Ahmed Qurei (Abu Alaa)
(1937 - )
Ahmed Qurei (also known as Abu Alaa) is a Palestinian politician and diplomat.
Qurei has served
as Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority as well as speaker of the Palestinian Legislative
Council. Qurei was previously the Palestine
Liberation Organization's "money-man" who ran Samed, the
industrial and investment fund which for years underpinned the movement's
finances. Qurei was one of three PLO leaders who met secretly with Israelis in Norway to hammer out the Oslo
accords which paved the way for the first
interim peace deal between the two sides in 1993. He was also involved
in the peace talks at Camp David in July 2000. He was later involved in the Taba
talks in January 2001.
Qurei, from a wealthy family in Abu Dis, near Jerusalem,
is not popular among ordinary Palestinians, who view him as an aristocrat.
He gave up a banking career in 1968 to join Fatah.
He became a member of the Central Committe of Fatah in 1989. He is the
replacement for Yasser Arafat in the case of death or injury until a new election is organized.
In early September 2003, after the resignation of Abu
Mazen, Qurei was appointed by Yasser
Arafat as the Prime Minister of the Palestinian
On July 17, 2004, Qurei resigned “because of
a series of internal and external issues that developed in the recent
period,” according to a statement from his office. He specifically
cited the deteriorating security situation in Gaza.
He held the job for 10 months and was unable to carry out reforms and
root out corruption as demanded by the Quartet in part because Arafat retained the presidency and virtually all power in the Palestinian
Authority. On July 20, Qurei told Arafat he would stay in his post, but only temporarily in a caretaker capacity,
and that his resignation would stand unless Arafat yielded more power to the Cabinet.
Qurei remained in his post and was reappointed Prime
Minister by Arafat's successor, Mahmoud Abbas in January 2005.
(December 6, 2001), CNN
and PASSIA; AP,
(July 18 & 20, 2004)