The Palestinian Authority’s demand that Israel release terrorists from prison as
a precondition for peace talks is unacceptable to 85 percent of Israeli Jews,
according to a Smith Research poll sponsored by the Knesset’s Land of Israel
Asked whether they would support releasing terrorists as a
gesture to bring the Palestinians to the negotiating table, 57% said they would
strongly oppose it, 28% said were against it, 13% said they supported it and
just 2% said they were strongly in favor of such a move.
The poll of 407
respondents representing a sample of the Jewish population of Israel was taken
last week and has a 5% margin of error.
The survey also asked how
withdrawing from Judea and Samaria would impact the security situation in
Israel. It found that 68% of Israelis believe it would harm Israeli security and
21% believe it would improve it.
The poll was taken in honor of the
caucus’s launch on Tuesday.
It is to consist of 35 MKs plus the outside
support of several cabinet ministers who cannot join caucuses.
MKs Dov Lipman and Pnina Tamnu-Shata have joined, though more Yesh Atid MKs have
joined a rival caucus that supports two states for two peoples.
caucus will be the conscience of the government and the Knesset,” said its
leader, coalition chairman Yariv Levin. “We will work to strengthen our grasp
over all of the Land of Israel and maintain the settlement enterprise out of
faith and knowledge that realizing our right to the land is our obligation and
the best guarantee of Israel’s security.”
But Levin cautioned that the caucus would support Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s efforts to restart the
diplomatic process with the Palestinians.
“This is not intended to be a
maneuver against the prime minister, and it should not be interpreted that way,”
Justice Minister Tzipi Livni urged Netanyahu on Monday to
disavow statements by right-wing MKs in his coalition about the government
opposing peace talks. Speaking to her faction in the Knesset, she warned against
“a group of extremists who don’t want to advance the peace process and will use
any excuse to prevent it from happening.”
Livni urged Yesh Atid to take a
more active role in promoting the peace process. Shortly after Livni spoke,
Netanyahu urged the heads of the factions in his coalition to stop attacking
“We will all pay a price if the coalition will come apart,”
Netanyahu said in Likud Beytenu's faction meeting. “When there are holes in the
ship, it sinks.” •
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