Polls: 40% of Israelis support talks with Hamas

Two polls published Friday showed that a plurality of Israelis would be willing to talk to a Palestinian government led by Hamas. According to a poll in Maariv, a Hebrew-language daily, 40 percent of Israelis say Israel should negotiate with Hamas if the group renounces its determination to destroy Israel, and another 27 percent say Israel should hold talks with no conditions attached based on the "road map" peace plan. The poll showed 29 percent of Israelis favored cutting off all contacts with the Palestinians, freezing negotiations and resuming targeted killings of Hamas leaders. The poll of 552 people was held Thursday and had a 4.2 percentage point margin of error. A second poll in the Yediot Ahronot Hebrew-language daily showed that 48 percent of those questioned by the Dahaf Research Institute said Israel should negotiate with Hamas, while 43 percent said Israel should shun a Hamas-led government. The poll of 500 people had a 4.5 percentage point margin of error.