* Fears grow after two attacks this week killed four, wounded two
* Hamas, backed by Iran, tries to sabotage talks

JERUSALEM, Sept 2, 2010 – As Israeli and Palestinian leaders begin direct peace talks for the first time in almost two years, many of those who live and work in the Jerusalem area are expressing concern about their future security.

Most in Israel’s capital believe the negotiations will focus on settlements rather than guarantee their safety, The Israel Project found in a straw poll.

By entering the talks, Israel risks putting its security at risk, said taxi driver Victor Voroshinov.

Victor Voroshinov

“During the talks, our government will ask for aid from other nations but at the end of the day that money will go to the Palestinians, not to our security,” he said.

Israeli fears grew this week after two terror attacks left four Israeli civilians dead and two wounded. Iran-backed Hamas claimed responsibility.

“Two attacks against completely innocent people who just want to live in the Land of Israel. Now there are seven orphans. Will [Palestinian Authority President] Mahmoud Abbas care for them?” said Moshe Elyakim, an immigrant from France.

Moshe Elyakim
“No one can dictate to Israel what its security policy should be. The government must be able to defend its own citizens,” he added

Hamas’s role must be factored in when talking to the Palestinian Authority, according to Keren Nissan, a young Jerusalemite who works in higher education.

Keren Nissan

“Our partner here isn’t just the Palestinian Authority but also Hamas, which for some reason they’re choosing to sideline and not refer to, but it’s Hamas that’s causing us the problems at the same time,” said Nissan.

For Naomi Ziegenseil there is no question the talks will collapse.

“Hamas does what it wants and we can’t trust the Palestinian Authority,” said Ziegenseil, who volunteers at a Jerusalem charity.

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