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Arab Knesset Member to Meet Arafat, Further Angering Rabin on PLO Ties

Arab Knesset member Abdul Wahab Darawshe has announced he will travel this weekend to Tunis to meet with Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman Yasir Arafat, taking with him an unnamed Labor Party Knesset member.

Darawshe, who heads the Arab Democratic Party, made the statement as Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin denied reports of direct contacts between the Israeli government and the PLO.

Darawshe said that prior to his departure he had met with senior Israeli and American figures for consultations.

The Israeli daily Yediot Achronot reported Thursday that Darawshe had asked to meet with Rabin before his trip, so that he could deliver a personal message from Rabin to Arafat.

But according to that report, Rabin refused to see him, stressing, in statements by his office, that he had no message to convey and that he would not make use of Darawshe’s services.