Majority of Israelis expect war in next five years, poll finds
A majority of Israelis think the country will be at war within the next five years, and will not sign peace agreements with the Palestinians or with Syria, a new poll has found, dpa reported.
The Tel Aviv University peace index, released Tuesday, on the eve of Israel's 60th anniversary celebrations, found that 73 per cent thought there was a very high or reasonably high possibility of war breaking out between Israel and one or more Arab country.
At the same time, 47 per cent also thought Israel would sign a peace agreement with an Arab state in the next five years, compared to 46.5 per cent who thought it would not.
However, some 64 per cent do not foresee a peace agreement between Israel and Syria, and an almost equal number - 67 per cent - are pessimistic about the chances of Israel-Palestinian negotiations leading to a peace treaty between the two peoples.
But the pessimism notwithstanding, 60 per cent support Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, and 71 per cent are in favour of the so-called "two-state solution" - an Israeli state and a Palestinian state living side by side.
A majority of those polled - 38.6 per cent - think Iranian attempts to acquire nuclear weapons pose the biggest existential threat to Israel, as opposed to 19 per cent who see the biggest danger as being the possibility that the Israeli military will not be sufficiently prepared for the next war.
Some 16 per cent said the biggest threat facing Israel came form the possibility that the country's Arab citizens would begin a violent uprising and only 11 per cent thought the biggest threat came from the possibility that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would intensify.
The survey, conducted by Tel Aviv University's Evens Programme in Mediation and Conflict Resolution and by the Steinmatz Centre for Peace research, polled 600 people from all sectors of Israel's population. It had a 4.5 per cent margin of error.