In a second conciliatory gesture, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has said he favoured lifting the ban which prevented Palestinain leader Yasser Arafat from travelling outside Ramallah where he has been confined under virtual house arrest since last December .
Sharon`s comments, which stunned his right-wing coalition
partners, came a day after twin Palestinian terror attacks left 16 people dead, 13 Israelis and three attackers, at the end of the Jewish Sabbath on Saturday prompting Israel to destroy Arafat`s empty headquarters in Gaza and hit other targets in and around the area.
Sharon`s latest announcement is the second move towards moderating his earlier tough position against Palestinians, which follows his earlier statement dropping the seven days of quiet demand before engaging the Palestinians in cease-fire negotiations.
Sharon said Arafat had met with the main condition for Israel, Arafat had met Tel Aviv`s demands to arrest the suspected conspirators of the killing of Israeli cabinet minister Rehavam Zeevi last year.
“People have been arrested. I demanded their arrest and their imprisonment. I have said that after they are arrested we shall let him out of there. I see this as a great achievement for the government,” Sharon told a gathering of disabled person, broadcast on Israeli television.