Palestinians doubt US-brokered peace: Poll

Palestinians doubt US-brokered peace: Poll
Wed Jul 31, 2013 21:50:51

Majority of Palestinians hesitate US-led efforts to bring Israeli regime and Palestinian Authority back to the negotiating table would result in a fair peace agreement.

Almost three in four (74%) of Palestinian adults interviewed by Gallup think-tank disagreed that the U.S. is currently more serious than it was in the past about brokering a peace deal that would offer a solution acceptable by both Israelis and Palestinians. In fact, only 12% said they trust the Barack Obama administration's ability to reach a viable agreement, while 14% refused or couldn't answer the question.

Moreover, two in three (66%) Palestinians said they do not trust the US as a peace broker. Only 1% said they have a great deal of trust in US Secretary of State John Kerry's and Obama's ability to deliver an equally fair agreement, while 7% said they have a fair amount of trust and 23% answered they do not have much trust.

The poll was conducted between May 21 and June 4, 2013, ahead of Kerry's announcement in July that both Israel and the Palestinian Authority agreed to resume peace talks.

A poll conducted four days after Kerry's announcement showed that 55% of Israelis were inclined to support any peace deal with the Palestinians brought by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. However, 70% of respondents said they do not believe a peace agreement will be achieved.

Negotiations between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators resumed on Tuesday in Washington after almost three years of stalemate and are expected to be based on 1967 borders with land swaps.

Several Palestinian factions, including Hamas resistance movement and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), have condemned the resumption of talks.

Major topics on the agenda of the so-called peace talks include the future of illegal Israeli settlements on the occupied West Bank, the status of al-Quds, and the fate of Palestinian refugees.

Palestinians are seeking to create an independent state on the territories of the West Bank, East al-Quds, and the Gaza Strip and are demanding that Israel withdraw from the Palestinian territories occupied in the Six-Day War of 1967.

Tel Aviv, however, has refused to return to the 1967 borders and is unwilling to discuss the issue of al-Quds. Last Palestinian-Israeli talks were halted in September 2010 after Tel Aviv refused to freeze its settlement activities in the West Bank.

More than half a million Israelis live in over 120 illegal settlements built since Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds in 1967.

The United Nations and most countries regard the Israeli settlements as illegal because the territories were captured by Israel in a war in 1967 and are hence subject to the Geneva Conventions, which forbids construction on occupied lands.

NTJ/HH

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