(1937 - )
Also known as Abu Ala, Korei (or Qouri) has served
as speaker of the Palestinian Legislative
Council since 1996 when Palestinians voted to install the 88-member
lawmaking body. Korei 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. Korei 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.
Korei, 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, Korei was appointed by Yasser
Arafat as the Prime Minister of the Palestinian
On July 17, 2004, Korei 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, Korei 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.
Korei remained in his post and was reappointed Prime
Minister by Arafat's
successor, Abu Mazen
in January 2005.
(December 6, 2001), CNN
and PASSIA; AP,
(July 18 & 20, 2004)