A survey of British Jews has found that more than half of respondents would support Israeli government negotiations with Hamas, the Islamic resistance movement that controls the Gaza Strip.

The survey, conducted by the Institute for Jewish Policy Research and released late last week, found that three-quarters of respondents favour a bispartisan solution for Israel to live in peace with its neighbours in the Middle East, reports ENINews (www.eni.ch).

Two-thirds of those surveyed also favour swapping land for peace, while opposing expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

77 per cent favoured a “two-state solution”, creating a Palestinian state, as the “only way” to make peace.

Just over half, 52 per cent, said they would support Israeli government negotiations with Hamas.

The study found British Jews strongly identified with and supported Israel, with nine out of 10 having visited it.

The BBC religious affairs correspondent, Robert Pigott, commented that although Israel clearly remained a cornerstone of Jewish identity in Britain, the survey suggested a substantial majority of Jews believed that they should be free to criticise the country’s government in the media.

Supporters of a two-state solution say that this would be in the best interests of the security of Israel, as well as offering long-denied justice to the Palestinians.