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Slim majority of Israelis, Palestinians still back two-state solution: poll

More than 600,000 Israelis live in settlements in the West Bank, including annexed east Jerusalem, which are seen as a major obstacle to peace between Israel and the Palestinians
Gil COHEN-MAGEN (AFP/File)
An equal number of Israeli and Palestinians, 15 percent, said they were in favor of expelling the other

A new poll published Tuesday shows that slim majority of both Israelis and Palestinians still support a two-state solution to the long-simmering conflict between their two societies, though support for the idea is waning among Israelis.

The poll, conducted by the Tami Steinmetz Center at Tel Aviv University, sampled the views of 1,200 Palestinians and 900 Israelis.

It found that 53 percent of Israelis and 52 percent of Palestinians support the establishment of an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel.

The latest figures show an increase from 44 percent in support for a two-state solution among Palestinians, but a decrease from 55 percent among Israelis from similar polls conducted in June 2016.

"It looks like a consistent trend of slow, incremental decline for the concept of a two-state solution among Israelis," said Israeli pollster Dahlia Scheindlin at a Tuesday press conference in east Jerusalem.

However, among those opposed to a two-state solution a lack of trust, and not ideology, was found to be the primary factor influencing their position.

According to the survey, one third of Israeli Jews who expressed opposition to the two-state solution responded that they would change their position if the agreement included mutual recognition by Palestinians of Jewish holy sites in the West Bank.

Similarly, a majority of Palestinians who opposed the two-state solution said they would be willing to change their position if Israel released all so-called "political prisoners".

One of the survey’s key findings was that incentives and trust-building could have a dramatic effect on public opinion.

Presented with options between a two-state solution, a one-state solution with equal rights for all citizens, a one-state solution without equal rights, or the expulsion of either Israelis or Palestinians from the land, a majority of both peoples opted for a two-state solution.

An equal number of Israeli and Palestinian respondents, 15 percent, said they were in favor of expelling the other from the land.

HAZEM BADER (AFP/File)

Among Israeli Jews, 47 percent favored the two-state solution, while 15 percent preferred a singular state in which Jews and Arabs do not share equal rights, and 12 percent opted for a one-state solution with equal rights for all citizens.

Among Palestinians, 52 percent of respondents favored a two-state solution and 11 percent said they preferred a single state in which Jews and Palestinians share equal rights.

Presented with the option of a "confederation", in which both Israelis and Palestinians could live wherever in the land they chose, but each voted for their own parallel parliament, with a unified capital in Jerusalem and security and economic cooperation between the two overlapping states, 61 percent of Jews and about 25 percent of Palestinians expressed support for this option.

"I think [the idea of confederation] is something we need to test as the debate over the two-state solution changes," Scheindlin said.

While the shape of a future peace deal may still be in flux, respondents from both sides overwhelmingly backed a peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict over the status-quo, war, or unilateral moves such as annexation.

A peace deal was backed by 45 percent of Israeli Jews, while 18 percent supported maintaining the status quo. Only 12 supported a decisive war against the Palestinians and just 9 supported Israel annexing the West Bank.

Findings were different among Jews living in the West Bank, however, with 35 percent backing maintaining the status-quo, 24 percent calling for annexation, 15 percent supporting a peace agreement, and 10 percent advocating a decisive war.

Comments

(1)

lol. even palis don't support a Pali state. I've agree with them. the plan should be to rid Israel... all of it... of muslims

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