An opinion poll conducted by the Smith Research Centre has revealed that the vast majority of Israelis are opposed to the release of Palestinian prisoners in return for the resumption of peace talks with the Palestinian Authority. Eighty-five per cent of the respondents said that they would oppose such a move.
That figure was split between 57 per cent who would oppose it "strongly" and 28 per cent who are "against" it. Only 13 per cent of Israelis, the poll predicts, would support a prisoner release deal, with 2 per cent being "strongly in favour".
The Smith Research poll also found that 68 per cent of Israelis believe that withdrawal from the West Bank would harm Israeli security "greatly"; 21 per cent think otherwise.
The poll was conducted on a sample of 407 respondents last week; its results were released on Tuesday.