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Amram Mitzna's surging popularity signals to Palestinians that there are people in Israel who still believe in dialogue and peace, Palestinian Authority Culture and Arts Minister Yasser Abed Rabbo declared yesterday.

The PA minister was speaking at a meeting of about 50 Israelis and 30 Palestinians at the A-Ram junction, north of Jerusalem. Israelis in the coalition include Yossi Beilin, and Knesset members Colette Avital, Naomi Chazan and Zahava Gal-On. Besides Abed Rabbo, the Palestinian side includes prominent politicians, artists and academics.

Beilin explained that yesterday's meeting aimed at denouncing "any kind of violence, any kind of terrorism - not to justify anything, whether it is a suicide bombing or a retaliation."

Abed Rabbo said, "We are ready to sit and talk about a serious end of the violence, where the Palestinian Authority will be able to reorganize and reconstruct civil and security institutions and the Israeli army will withdraw from the areas Israel has occupied in the past weeks and months."