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80% of Israelis say peace talks will fail

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

The vast majority of Israelis believe US-brokered negotiations with the Palestinians will fail to bring any peace agreement, an opinion poll published on Friday showed.

About 80 percent of 507 Jewish and Arab Israeli respondents told Maariv newspaper that they believed the talks would not succeed.

The poll came a week after a visit by US Secretary of State John Kerry, who kick-started the talks in July after a three-year hiatus and is pushing the two sides to accept a framework agreement for final status negotiations.

The Maariv survey showed that 73 percent rejected a total withdrawal of Israeli troops from the West Bank under any peace accord.

Israeli and Palestinian leaders appear increasingly at odds over irreconcilable demands, including over the borders of a future Palestinian state and an Israeli military presence in the Jordan Valley, where the West Bank borders Jordan.

Israelis insist the army must remain there in the long term to guarantee the Jewish state's security, but the Palestinians insist they must leave and make way for an international military force.

A separate opinion poll by pro-government Israel Hayom said 70 percent of 500 Jewish respondents rejected a withdrawal from the Jordan Valley.

Some 53 percent said Kerry was not sincere or "honest" in his quest for peace.

"Public opinion seems tired, dejected and sceptical after seeing dozens of American mediators and envoys come here over the years and leave empty-handed," Maariv wrote.

The Maariv and Israel Hayom polls had an error margin of 4.5 and 4.4 percent, respectively.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/140110/80-israelis-say-peace-talks-will-fail