Poll: Most Israelis Against ’67 Lines for Peace

YERUSHALAYIM (Reuters) -

Most Israelis would oppose any peace deal with the Palestinians that would involve withdrawing to pre-1967 ceasefire lines, even with land swaps, a poll showed on Tuesday.

The survey by the liberal Israeli Democracy Institute (IDI) showed 65.6 percent of those questioned did not expect to see a deal in talks between Israel and the Palestinians within a year.

But even if the Israeli government managed to defy skeptics and secure an accord, the poll, jointly sponsored by Tel Aviv University, suggested it would struggle to sell it to its people.

Of the 602 people questioned, 55.5 percent said they were against Israel agreeing to the 1967 lines, even if there were land swaps which would enable some Jewish communities in Yehudah and Shomron and eastern Yerushalayim to remain part of Israel.

Among Israel’s majority Jewish population, opposition to such an agreement was 63 percent, while among Israeli Arabs, a minority group, only 15 percent objected to such a deal.

Some 67 percent of all Israelis said they would also oppose Palestinian demands for a return of even a small number of refugees who either fled or were driven away when Israel was created in 1948. They were also against compensating the refugees or their descendents financially.

On one of the other issues facing negotiators, the question of whether Arab neighborhoods in Yerushalayim should become part of a Palestinian state, some 50 percent of Israeli Jews said they were against the idea.

Only 55 percent of Israeli Arabs were in favor, fewer than might be expected, suggesting Arab residents of eastern  Yerushalayim did not want to lose the advantages of living under Israeli government control, such as health and national insurance benefits, the IDI said.