More than two out of three Israelis no longer believe it is possible to reach peace with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, according to a poll published Friday after two months of deadly Israeli-Palestinian violence.
A full 68 percent said they did not believe a deal could be reached, against only 30 percent who said it was possible and 12 percent who had no opinion.
The poll, published in Israel's top selling Yediot Aharonot newspaper, was conducted by the Dahaf institute among 501 Israelis and has a margin of error of 4.5 percent.
Israeli public opinion has hardened against the Palestinians as the death toll increased among Jews in bomb attacks and shootings in the Palestinian territories and Israel.
Most of the 271 people killed in the violence have been Palestinians, but 34 Israeli soldiers and civilians and 13 Israeli Arabs have been killed.
A poll published by the rival Hebrew newspaper Maariv Friday, showed 60 percent of Israelis nevertheless supporting continuing the peace process with the Palestinians despite the violence, but the figure was down from 66 percent the week before.
Some 36 percent were opposed, compared with 31 percent previously, and four percent had no opinion.
But the Gallup poll also found that 45 percent of Israelis considered the retaliatory air strikes against the Gaza Strip following a deadly bombing of a Jewish settler schoolbus "too weak," while 32 percent said it was adequate and 15 percent thought it too strong.
The poll interviewed 593 people and carried a margin of error of 4.5 percent -- JERUSALEM (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com )