Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Poll: 67% of Israelis want talks with new PA gov't


"A majority of Israelis support holding negotiations with a Palestinian unity government that would include the Islamic Hamas movement, according to the results of a joint Palestinian-Israeli poll released on Tuesday.

Sixty-seven percent of Israeli respondents said such a step could be a necessary requisite for achieving a peace agreement with Palestinians.

The survey, which polled some 1,270 Palestinians, 500 Israeli Jews and 401 Israeli Arabs, was conducted as a coordinated effort between the Truman Institute of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Khalil Shikaki in Ramallah. The survey was conducted in two parts, at the end of August and last week.

Some 56 percent of Israeli said they would support negotiations with the current Hamas government, while 46 percent of Israelis said they would oppose such a move.

Support within the Palestinian sector for negotiations with Israel have dwindled, however, with 59 percent of Palestinians in support of negotiations between Israel and the Hamas-led Palestinian government and 38 percent opposed. This represents a marked decline from a June survey, in which 70 percent of Palestinian respondents said they support Hamas negotiations with Israel.

Sixty-three percent of Palestinian respondents support Palestinians adopting Hezbollah methods of attacking Israeli towns with rockets, while 38 percent said they were opposed to this type of action. Some 57 percent of Palestinian respondents said they supported bombing attacks against Israeli civilians, and another 75 percent said they supported kidnapping Israel Defense Forces soldiers.

Still, 74 percent said it would not be worthwhile to rely on violence alone and that a political solution would have to be reached."

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