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Poll: Majority of Israelis pessimistic about peace deal
August 6, 2013, 9:03 pm

Most Israelis believe the talks with Palestinians will yield little [Getty Images}

Most Israelis believe the talks with Palestinians will yield little [Getty Images}

Only 20 per cent of Israelis believe that the current round of US-sponsored negotiations with the Palestinians will lead to a concrete peace deal, a prominent pollster said on Tuesday.

The Israel Democracy Institute’s Peace Index monthly poll, conducted by Tel Aviv University’s Evens Programme in Mediation and Conflict Resolution, and published on the Walla! news website gauged 502 Israeli Jews and 100 Arabs. Some 79 per cent of Israeli Jews believe the negotiations have little chance of succeeding.

The trend is reversed among the Arab population of Israel; 47 per cent believe that the negotiations could produce positive results, while 41 per cent say the talks will lead to a dead end.

The poll comes a week after US Secretary of State John Kerry launched talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians, the first in nearly four years. Negotiators will define what “final status” talks will entail.

The poll also asked respondents if there should be a national referendum to approve a possible agreement – that includes an Israeli
withdrawal from the West Bank (Judea and Samaria in Jewish terms) and an evacuation of settlements (tentatively, a return to pre-June 1967 borders), or whether the decision be left in the hands of the government and the Knesset.

Some 58 per cent of Jews said they did not believe Israeli society support a referendum on the conditions above; the trend was again reversed among Israeli Arab respondents, 58 per cent of whom said there would be support.

The poll also shows 62.5 per cent of Israeli Jews object to withdrawing to the 1967 borders and returning annexed lands in the West Bank as part of a comprehensive peace deal.

The survey, conducted on July 28-30, has a margin of error of 4.5 per cent.

Source: Agencies