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Some Israelis open to PLO

Most members of parliament from Israel's governing Labor Party favor direct talks between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Israel Radio said Saturday.

Forty-four Knesset (parliament) members were asked if they were for or against direct talks with the PLO. Thirty members supported the idea, 14 opposed it.

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"We have reached a situation in which it is preferable to sit with the PLO ... in order to further peace, otherwise tomorrow we'll have to sit with Hamas, which we all oppose," says Labor Knesset member Shlomo Boochbut.

Seven of Labor's 13 Cabinet members, including Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, were among those opposed to the idea. But radio reports said Peres may support direct talks with the PLO in a party vote. Israel's official position has been not to negotiate with the PLO.

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