05/22/2008, 00.00
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65% of Israelis oppose Golan-peace exchange with Syria

A survey highlights the strategic and economic importance of the Heights for the Jewish state. The idea of a partial withdrawal is also rejected. Needing to abandon part of the territory won in 1967, the majority would leave Transjordan.

Jerusalem (AsiaNews/Agencies) - 65% of Israelis are against the idea of giving the Golan Heights back to Syria, even if this would lead to true peace with Damascus.  This is affirmed in a survey published following the announcement by the governments of the two countries that negotiations are underway on this "exchange".

The research was conducted by the institute Maagar Mochot for the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Jewish state, and therefore before the official announcement of the negotiations, which had in any case been common knowledge for some time.  But yesterday evening, after the announcement, a telephone survey conducted by Channel 2 yielded a similar result, with 70% against leaving Golan and only 22% in favour.

According to the survey by Maagar Mochot, 65% of Israelis are against leaving the Heights won during the war in 1967, and 64% also reject the idea of a partial withdrawal from the area, which is important both from a strategic point of view - it dominates the plain of the Jewish state beneath it - and from an economic point of view, in that has an abundance of water and numerous Jewish settlements.

The research also reveals that 68% of those interviewed want to maintain the current territorial situation of the Jewish state, with control of Transjordan and Golan.  The latter of these is clearly preferred between the two: only 4% choose the option of keeping Transjordan and abandoning the Heights, against 18% in favour of the opposite arrangement.

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See also
Peace with Israel, Iranian nuclear program addressed in meeting between Assad and Erdogan
Assad confirms Israeli proposal: peace in exchange for the Golan Heights
It's official: Damascus and Jerusalem are talking peace
Fifth round of indirect talks between Damascus and Jerusalem set for September 18
New round of indirect talks today between Israel and Syria


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