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Ahmed Qurei, former Palestinian Prime Minister, dies at 85

Ahmed Qurei, a former Palestinian prime minister, passed away yesterday in a Ramallah hospital.

February 23, 2023 at 8:44 am

Former Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei died in hospital in Ramallah yesterday. He was 85 years old.

President Mahmoud Abbas mourned Qurei with the masses and called him a great national leader. Indeed, Qurei was not only a former prime minister, but also a former speaker of the Legislative Council, a former member of the Executive Committees of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, and a senior figure in the Fatah movement.

Abbas pointed out that Qurei — known by his Arabic kunya Abu Alaa — spent his life as a fighter, defending Palestine, its cause, its people, and its independent national decision-making. He praised his honourable role and his struggle, as well as his contributions to the PLO and his work in the institutions of the Palestinian state, all of which were appreciated greatly.

“Abu Alaa stood at the forefront,” added Abbas, “defending the causes of his country and his people in the arenas of national action and struggle and in the international arena, since the early days of such action.”

Ahmed Ali Mohammed Qurei was born in Abu Dis in the Jerusalem Governorate of Palestine in 1937, and joined the Palestinian National Liberation Movement (Fatah) in 1968. He founded the Samed Foundation in the early 1970s and served as Director General of the Department of Economic Affairs and Planning in the PLO. He was also the Governor of Palestine for the Islamic Development Bank.

Appointed as a member of the Fatah Central Committee in August 1989, he was a member of the PLO’s Central Council and the Palestinian National Council. He was appointed Minister of Economy and Trade and Minister of Industry in the first Palestinian government between 1994 and 1996.

Abu Alaa represented Jerusalem in the first Palestinian legislative elections held in January 1996. He was elected President of the Palestinian Legislative Council in 1996 and held this position until 2003, when he became Prime Minister until March 2006. He was succeeded by Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas.

Ahmed Qurei was then the Commissioner General of Mobilisation and Organisation until the end of 2009, and the head of the Department of Jerusalem Affairs in the PLO. He was also elected Secretary of the Advisory Council of the Palestinian National Liberation Movement.

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