The mention of King Hussein's name in the Israeli-occupied territories brings praise and blessings these days instead of the usual muttering and criticism.

The Jordanian monarch's backing for Iraqi President Saddam Hussein - who Palestinians hoped would be their savior - has given the king new stature even as his reputation in the West has been tarnished.Palestinians and even a few Israelis see a chance, albeit a slim one, of reviving the failed attempts of 1985 to form a Jordanian-Palestinian delegation for negotiations on the Arab-Israeli dispute.

The king himself made a plea Friday, a day after the gulf war cease-fire was announced, for ending Israel's occupation. Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip listened eagerly.

"On this day," the king said, "we urge the world again to address the question of Palestine by the same criteria that it has applied over the question of Kuwait."

The king's backing for Iraq, which was also supported by the Palestine Liberation Organization, already had brought him praise as Palestinians argued the war's outcome in the streets, coffee shops, and mosques in the occupied lands.

"King Hussein is the only Arab leader capable of solving the Palestinian issue," a 28-year-old named Ziad said in a Bethlehem press office where activists sometimes gather to talk politics.

"This war has shown who is the traitor and who isn't," said Bassam, 35. "King Hussein has proved that he is the only faithful Arab leader to the Palestinians and the Iraqis."

Such talk is a radical change in the occupied territories. Although Jordan's population is about 60 percent Palestinian, the king and his ruling Hashemite family have had stormy relations with the Palestinians.