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Netanyahu Defends Meeting With Arafat

A day after finally meeting Yasser Arafat, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatened Thursday to fire any Cabinet minister who can’t accept his decision to talk peace with the Palestinians.

Amid shouts of “traitor!” and “resign!” from Likud Party activists stunned by Wednesday’s meeting and handshake with the Palestinian leader, Netanyahu vowed to maintain his hard-line position in the peace talks.

“There is not, and will never be, a Palestinian state,” Netanyahu told the clearly divided audience attending a Likud Party convention in Tel Aviv. Shaking Arafat’s hand, he added, “wasn’t easy.” Some delegates applauded and others listened in stony silence.

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