Tunisia in crisis as PM calls for new Cabinet
TUNIS, Tunisia -- Tunisia's Islamist prime minister said Saturday that he will resign if his proposal to appoint a nonpolitical Cabinet by midweek is rejected.
Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali first called for that change Wednesday after Tunisia was thrown into a crisis when a prominent opposition politician was shot and killed in Tunis, touching off violent protests.
Jebali's moderate Islamist Ennahda party has already rejected his proposal. But he didn't flinch, saying in an interview with the France-24 TV channel that to change the situation government ministers must be replaced by ones without a political affiliation, notably technocrats. "I feel obliged to save my country," he said, adding that Tunisia risks a "swing into chaos." Skepticism over Obama Israel visit
JERUSALEM -- For more than two years, many Israeli and Palestinian leaders have placed blame for their stalemated peace process not only on one another but on a lack of engagement by the Obama administration. But now that President Barack Obama and his new secretary of state have signaled plans to visit, both sides still remain skeptical that much will change.
At best, experts say, there may be movement on the margins. The United States is expected to soon release $200 million in aid to the financially ailing Palestinian Authority that it has withheld for months. There is talk of giving the Palestinians partial control over some areas of the West Bank where Israel currently rules. Israel may release some longstanding Palestinian prisoners as a gesture.
Also, some Israelis and Americans are pushing the idea of at least a partial freeze of Jewish settlement construction in the West Bank in exchange for a promise by the Palestinians to postpone plans to use their new upgraded status at the United Nations to pursue claims against Israel in the International Criminal Court.
Few expect Obama's visit, scheduled for March 20, to yield a summit meeting between Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel, and Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority.