June 30, 2010 - 12:00am

A just-released local poll showed that Israelis and Palestinians appear ready and increasingly willing to compromise for a peaceful resolution of their conflict.

Both sides, however, remain pessimistic about prospects for peace, according to the results of the joint survey, a statement sent to Xinhua said.

The research was carried out by the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in Ramallah.

Overall, neither side sees a Palestinian state coming into being before 2015, and two thirds in both groups polled think chances of both countries living side-by-side are slim or nonexistent.

Some 63 percent of the Palestinians polled believe their side was successful in the May 31 flotilla incident between Israeli naval commandos and passengers on six Gaza-bound craft.

Half the Israelis, however, say the flotilla's Turkish organizers are at fault over the deadly results, in which nine passengers died in clashes with soldiers, with 28 percent saying that Israel's politicians are responsible for the results. Only 13 percent of the Israelis feel the Israeli army are responsible for the operation's results.

In a related response, 43 percent of Palestinians polled see Turkey as the regional state most supportive of their cause, followed by Egypt by 13 percent, Iran at 6 percent, Saudi Arabia and Syria both at 5 percent, Lebanon at 3 percent, and Jordan tailing at 2 percent.

Just over half of the Palestinians surveyed -- 55 percent -- oppose granting legitimacy to any deal coming out of proximity talks with Israel, with 35 percent supporting such a step.

But if such negotiations fail, 65 percent of Palestinians would ask the UN Security Council to recognize a Palestinian state, with 60 percent calling for unilaterally declaring such a state. Thirty- nine percent are for dissolving the Palestinian National Authority if the talks fail, with 56 percent against such a move.

Nearly 60 percent of the Israelis polled oppose and 35 percent support the Saudi initiative, which calls for Arab recognition and normalization of relations with Israel after it ends its occupation of areas gained in the 1967 war, including the West Bank, parts of Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, and after the establishment of a Palestinian state.

Sixty-seven percent of Palestinians support the plans and 30 percent oppose it.

Just under a quarter of all Israelis -- 24.9 percent -- believe the majority of the Israeli public supports dismantling most of the settlements in the territories as part of a peace agreement with the Palestinians.

Forty-seven percent of Israelis support Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's unilateral 10-month freeze on construction in the settlements, with 44 percent against it. Seventy-two percent of Palestinians are for boycotting settlement-made products, while 60 percent would not keep Palestinians employees from working in them.

The pollsters say the survey included random, face-to-face interviews with 1,270 Palestinian adults at 127 random locations in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip between June 10 and June 13.


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