More than half of Israelis likely to back peace deal: Poll

AFP , Wednesday 24 Jul 2013

In the aftermath of US Secretary of State's diplomatic trip, poll suggests more than half of Israelis at least "probably" willing to support peace deal

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Photo: AP)

More than half of Israelis are likely to support a peace deal with the Palestinians should it come to a referendum, a poll said on Wednesday.

The poll, conducted by Tel Aviv University's Dialog Institute and published in Haaretz newspaper, interviewed 511 Israelis and was carried out after US Secretary of State John Kerry announced that peace talks would resume between Israel and the Palestinians.

It showed 39 percent of respondents would support any peace plan put to a vote by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and another 16 percent would "probably" approve it.

Some 25 percent said they would oppose it, and another 20 percent were undecided. The survey's error margin was not specified in the Haaretz report.

Kerry announced on his sixth trip to the region last week that Middle East peace talks, which have stalled for almost three years, would resume imminently.

Initial talks would take place in Washington with Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erakat and his counterpart, Israel's Justice Minister Tzipi Livni.

On Sunday, Netanyahu reiterated his longstanding stance that any draft agreement hammered out in peace talks would be put to a referendum, drawing mixed reactions from some of his coalition partners.

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