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PALESTINIAN PANEL URGES OUSTER OF CABINET

A Palestinian legislative panel investigating government corruption called today on Yasser Arafat to dismiss his entire Cabinet and recommended charges be filed against some ministers.

The panel described various abuses, including improperly influencing the distribution of foreign donations, and blamed the Cabinet for failing to follow up on reports of mismanagement.

The report recommended Arafat "dissolve the entire Cabinet until the ministers who are implicated are put on trial and either cleared or convicted," Azmi Shuabi, a Ramallah lawmaker and panel member, told the Associated Press.

The panel has no authority to enforce its recommendations, but for weeks, corruption allegations have fueled rumors of a Cabinet shake-up.

An internal audit by the state comptroller's office in May found that $326 million -- nearly half the 1997 budget -- had been lost to corruption or mismanagement by Palestinian Authority officials.

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