Poll: Israelis pessimistic about peace prospects

Fewer than one in four Israeli Jews expect a peace agreement with the Palestinians in the next 20 years, while an even smaller number expect Israel to return most of the territories it captured in the 1967 war, according to a poll released Tuesday. In Tuesday's poll by the Dahaf Research Institute, 48 percent said they expected no change in the conflict in the next 20 years, while 29% said they expect the conflict to deteriorate. Twenty-two percent said they expected the conflict to be resolved. The results indicate that Israelis remain deeply pessimistic about peace prospects, despite a rapidly changing political landscape in the wake of Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. Twenty-seven percent expected Israel to annex major settlement blocs in the West Bank within the next 20 years, while 18% said they thought Israel would return to the borders it had before the 1967 war, with minor adjustments. Seven percent expect Israel to annex 7% of the West Bank. Forty-three percent expect Jerusalem holy sites to remain under Israeli sovereignty over the next 20 years. Thirty percent expect Jewish sovereignty over Judaism's holiest site, the Western Wall, and Palestinian sovereignty over the Temple Mount, known to Muslims as Haram as-Sharif. Twenty-five percent said the adjacent sites would come under joint supervision. Five hundred Jewish adults were questioned for the poll, which had a maximum margin of error of 4.5 percentage points.