Israelis to stay for poll

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The Independent Online
Stockholm (Reuter) - Yasser Arafat reacted with "astonishment" after the Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin, said Israeli troops could remain in West Bank towns during Palestinian elections. Rumours of just such a move had already angered Palestinian leaders.

Mr Rabin's remarks to Israel Radio yesterday were his first in public to suggest the idea was under consideration. "We have yet to reach a clear answer and the clarifications will continue," he said on a flight from Oslo.

He said the measure would be a temporary one, enabling elections to go ahead while ensuring Israeli security. An Israeli spokesman said Palestinian agreement would be needed.