September poll: 64% of Israelis favor negotiations with the Palestinians aimed at resolving the conflict

September poll: 64% of Israelis favor negotiations with the Palestinians aimed at resolving the conflict
Date: 17.09.07
Source: Middle East Times
AFP

JERUSALEM -- 64 percent of Israelis favor negotiations with the Palestinians aimed at resolving the decades-old conflict, while only 32 percent oppose them, said a survey released Monday ahead of an international conference.

However, a majority of Israelis are skeptical about whether the current Israeli and Palestinian leaders can agree a peace accord.

The study, carried out by the Steinmetz Center for Peace Research at Tel Aviv University, found that 58.5 percent of Israelis said the likelihood of the two sides reaching an agreement was "weak."

Of the remainder, 31 percent said they believed there was a "moderate" chance of success, 5 percent considered it "high," and the rest expressed no opinion.

The findings came on the eve of US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's latest visit to the region, amid intense preparations for a US-sponsored international Middle East conference to be held later this year.

The opinion poll found that 83 percent of Israelis consider Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas "too weak" to conclude a peace agreement, with only 11 percent saying he was strong enough.

A majority, 68.5 percent also said Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's government lacked the support to make peace, with 23 percent saying it had.

Researchers interviewed a representative sample of 589 Israelis for the poll, and gave a margin of error of 4.5 percent.