Sharon says Arafat go into exiled

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Israel suggested today that besieged Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat should be flown into exile with European diplomats.

In a tour of West Bank army bases today, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said hje had been asked by European Union envoy Miguel Moratinos whether Mr Arafat would be able to leave Ramallah.

"I told him (Moratinos), if they they (European diplomats) would like, they will fly with a helicopter and will take him (Arafat) from here," the Prime Minister said in remarks carried by Israel Radio.

"First I would have to bring this to the Cabinet, second he (Arafat) can't take anyone with him, the murderers who are located around him there and the third thing is that it would have to be a one–way ticket. He will not be able to return," Mr Sharon said.

Palestinian officials said Mr Arafat would never agree to go into exile under any circumstances.

Israel's Cabinet decided last week to confine Mr Arafat to a few rooms at his headquarters in the West Bank town of Ramallah, but left open the possibility of ousting Mr Arafat at a later stage.