Palestine Authority names new staff chief

RAMALLAH, West Bank, Aug. 24 (UPI) -- The Palestinian Authority has named a new chief of staff to replace Rafiq Husseini, dismissed in February over a sex scandal, officials said.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has appointed Hussein al-Araj, who previously served as governor of Hebron, undersecretary of the ministry of local governance from 2004 to 2005, and as chief of staff of Palestinian Authority civil servants, Palestinian news agency Ma'an reported.


He replaces Husseini, dismissed following the leak of a videotape that allegedly showed him soliciting sex from a job applicant in Ramallah.

In an inquiry in April cleared Husseini of charges of nepotism, blackmail and corruption but confirmed his dismissal for "tainting" his office with personal mistakes, Ma'an said.

Al-Araj, who graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1989, was a lecturer at the An-Najah National University in Nablus in the Faculty of Economy and Administrative Sciences before entering Palestinian government service.

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