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Israelis pessimistic over talks with Palestinians

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Nearly three quarters of Israelis think it will not be possible to reach a peace agreement with the Palestinians even if stalled peace talks resume, a poll published on Friday said.

When asked: "If negotiations begin again do you believe that it will be possible to reach a final agreement with the Palestinians?", 71.6 percent of those interviewed answered "no", compared to 21.7 percent of those who thought it was possible. The remainder had no opinion on the matter.

The poll, which appeared in the daily Israel Hayom, interviewed 500 Israeli Jews, excluding Israeli Arabs who make up nearly 20 percent of the population. The margin of error was 4.4 percent.

Israelis interviewed for the poll were a little more optimistic about the chances of restarting talks with the Palestinians following efforts from US Secretary of State John Kerry.

Kerry has visited the region five times since taking office in February in a bid to relaunch talks between the two sides.

According to the poll, 50.9 percent of Israelis believed that talks would begin again compared with 30 percent who thought the opposite, with the remaining 19.1 percent not having any strong opinion on the matter.

It confirmed the results of a previous Israeli-Palestinian public opinion poll published on Tuesday which showed that more than two thirds of Israelis and Palestinians (68 and 69 percent respectively) felt that there was little or no chance of the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel within the next five years.

On Sunday, Kerry finished a marathon visit to the Middle East, saying that there had been "real progress" in efforts to revive direct peace talks, but without an agreement on the talks from either side.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130705/israelis-pessimistic-over-talks-palestinians