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Israeli officials, worried that recent terrorist acts and protests have fatally weakened PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat's grip on his people, began a major, three-day policy debate over whether they can pull their troops from the West Bank before Palestinian elections -- a key part of the historic 1993 Mideast peace accord. Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin said today that Israel had "no interest in dragging things out" but effectively no-commented on whether Israel would try to leave some troops in Palestinian areas after the elections, most likely this month. Arafat today instructed the negotiators who'll represent him when autonomy talks reopen Tuesday in Cairo to insist that Israel keep its word. That answer will probably emerge Wednesday, when the 18-member Israeli Cabinet meets.