Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's popularity has fallen to its lowest level since he entered office in March 2001, according to an opinion poll.
Some 59 percent of those surveyed said that they were dissatisfied with Sharon's leadership while 33 percent said they were satisfied and another eight percent said they had no opinion in the poll published Friday by the Maariv daily.
His fall in popularity was largely due to the deteriorating economic situation, the paper said.
Seventy-seven percent said that they believed Israel was still in recession even though the treasury recently trumpeted that the economic crisis was over.
In addition, 45 percent of those surveyed said that they were opposed to the unofficial Geneva Initiative peace plan, while 29 percent were in favour and 26 percent expressed no opinion.
The figures are a slight fall on a poll in the Haaretz daily published Monday on the morning of the accord's launch in Switzerland, when 31 percent of people said that they supported the initiative.
Meanwhile, 53 percent of people said that Israel should continue building its controversial West Bank separation barrier which has been widely criticised for cutting deep into Palestinian territory. Thirty-six percent were opposed.
A total of 578 people were questioned for the survey which has a four percent margin of error.
© 2003 AFP