JerusalemNati Shohat/Flash 90

Israelis strongly oppose the idea of partitioning the Old City of Jerusalem, even if the division would be an essential part of a potential future peace deal with the Palestinian Authority, a new poll shows.

According to a survey by the Maagar Mohot agency conducted on behalf of Israel Hayom, the overwhelming majority of Israelis oppose any Palestinian Authority control in historic area.

The partition of Jerusalem, including the surrender of parts of the Old City of Jerusalem – first and foremost the Temple Mount – to a new Palestinian state, has been a key demand of the Palestinian Authority for more than two decades.

But few Israelis say they would ever accept Palestinian sovereignty in the Old City, or even some degree of autonomy.

A whopping 84% of respondents said they did not support ceding parts of the Old City of Jerusalem to the PA in return for a final status agreement, while 67% said they would also oppose limited Palestinian control anywhere in the Old City.

When asked whether they would reconsider their position if they knew that without a partition of the Old City no final status agreement would ever be possible, 87% said that consideration would not alter their opinion, such that 73% of Israelis – including 47% of self-described left-wingers – would under no circumstances accept a key PA demand. Ninety-four percent of right-wingers and 78% of centrists said they would never accept the division of the Old City.

While a recent Channel 2 poll showed that less than half (47%) of Israelis (Jews and Arabs included) said they support a two-state solution and establishment of a Palestinian state, the Maagar Mohot survey shows few Israelis see a peace agreement with the Palestinian Authority in the offing. Just 25% said they believed there was any chance in the foreseeable future.