Is Arafat ready to meet Netanyahu again

TEL AVIV — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed Tuesday that a "message" has been transmitted by the Palestinian Authority to the effect that Chairman Yasser Arafat is willing to participate in a summit conference.

"I heard a message in this direction," Netanyahu said when asked about the prospects of his proposal for a face-to-face meeting with Arafat. "We will examine it in the next few days."

Netanyahu spoke at a joint news conference with Jordanian Crown Prince Hassan in Tel Aviv.

Hassan, who conferred with Arafat in Ramallah on Monday, denied that he has been acting as a "mediator" or "representative." But he said that his session with Arafat and other Palestinian leaders was "fruitful" and "upbeat."

Carefully choosing his words in an apparent bid to uphold the confidences given him by the two sides, Hassan said that "there certainly was a commitment [on the Palestinians' part] to the rejuvenation of the peace process."