Poll: 42% of Israelis Think Peace Possible Under Current Leaders

31% of Palestinians think peace with Israel can be achieved; 16% of Palestinians favor full Israeli occupation.

A poll released Thursday showed only 31 percent of Palestinians believe it possible to reach a peace deal with the current Israeli leadership, while 42 percent of Israelis believe it is possible to reach such a settlement with moderate Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

The poll, conducted by the Harry S. Truman Research Institute at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in Ramallah, also found that 89 percent of Israelis and 76 percent of Palestinians believed that armed confrontations between Palestinians and Israelis would continue.

The poll revealed that only a quarter of Israelis surveyed believe the conflict could be resolved by talks with a Palestinian national unity government, which would include members of the Islamic Hamas movement alongside Abbas' Fatah.

Abbas recently dismissed the unity government and formed an emergency government, excluding Hamas representatives, after the Islamic group violently seized control over the Gaza Strip two weeks ago.

Many Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip told the surveyors that they want the nature of the Palestinian Authority altered.

Overall, 41 per cent of Palestinians supported dissolving the Palestinian Authority while 26 percent wanted it replaced it with an international trusteeship. 16 percent of Palestinians said they favored a return to full Israeli occupation. However, 49 percent rejected dismantling the PA.

Some 42 percent of the Palestinians surveyed favored the establishment of a confederation with Jordan.

Jordan's King Abdullah and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak have recently dismissed the idea of a confederation with Jordan, at least until an independent Palestinian state is established.

The poll was conducted between from June 12-20, while the Hamas violent takeover of the Gaza Strip was taking place, and the centers said this should be taken into consideration when evaluating the survey figures.