Most Israeli Jews do not believe in chances of peace: poll

Source: MSN NEWS

A large majority of Israel’s Jews do not believe in the prospects of reaching a peace agreement with the Palestinians, in a poll released on Tuesday.

According to the April issue of the War and Peace Index, a survey conducted by Tel Aviv University, 70 percent of the Jewish public do not believe in the chances of reaching a deal with the Palestinians despite renewed peace talks.

On the other hand, 57 percent of the respondents favour holding talks with the Palestinians, while 34 percent oppose such talks.

Seventy percent support the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel, as set out in the international roadmap peace plan.

On the thorniest issues at the core of the Middle East conflict, 55 percent said they opposed handing Arab neighbourhoods in occupied east Jerusalem to Palestinian sovereignty.

A vast majority — 83 percent — oppose handing over the Old City to the Palestinians and 60 percent oppose joint administration of Judaism’s holiest site, Temple Mount, which also houses Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, making it Islam’s third holiest site.

The Palestinians want to make Arab east Jerusalem, which Israel captured and annexed in 1967, the capital of their future state.

Israel and the Palestinians restarted peace talks at a US conference last November after a seven-year hiatus, but little tangible progress has been made since despite a joint commitment to try to ink a deal by the end of the year.

Sixty-six percent of those questioned also said that they did not believe in the chances of reaching a peace agreement with Syria.

Peace talks between Israel and its northern neighbour broke down eight years ago but in recent weeks both sides have sent messages that they were willing to renew talks.

The poll also said that 75 percent of the Israeli Jewish public thinks that in the next five years Israel will find itself at war with “one or more Arab states.”

The survey was conducted among 600 men and women with a margin of error of 4.5 percent.

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