2 in 3 Israelis believe no hope of peace with Palestinians – poll

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (L) talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu © Jason Reed
The vast majority of people living in Israel, both Jewish and Arab, think that peace with Palestinians will never be achieved, a new poll has revealed. Only four percent expect something to change for the better in the next five years.

Sixty-four percent of the 646 Israeli and Arab-Israeli respondents said they had no hopes that a two-state solution to the Palestinian conflict could be found, Project HaMidgam institute for the Walla news website survey said.

Twenty-four percent of those polled answered that an accord was possible but it would take longer than five years to achieve. Only four percent thought a peace deal could be achieved within five years. The remaining eight percent were undecided in the poll.

The Palestinian-Israeli peace talks have been at a standstill since the efforts of the US failed two years ago. The sides did not manage to continue the settlement process after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas forged an unexpected pact with Hamas on the governance of the Gaza Strip. Israel sees the latter as a terrorist organization which aims for the ultimate destruction of the Israeli state.

Both parties could not reach a consensus on the illegal construction of Israeli settlements on Palestinian lands. Abbas demanded that Israel halts construction on lands claimed by Palestine and releases prisoners. Netanyahu has refused to entertain any such requests but said he is ready to meet the Palestinians any time, anywhere, without any preconditions.

Since then both France and Russia have offered to host leaders from Israel and Palestine for peace talks.