‘Israelis, Palestinians increasingly negative about two-state solution’

Survey finds each side perceives the other as constituting a threat to its very existence.

December 25, 2014 06:30
2 minute read.
Old City of Jerusalem‏

A Jewish woman gestures at a Palestinian in the Old City of Jerusalem‏. (photo credit: FINBARR O'REILLY / REUTERS)


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Israelis and Palestinians are increasingly pessimistic about reaching a deal for a two-state solution, a joint poll released Wednesday revealed.

According to the findings, following the summer’s conflict, 50 percent of Israelis and 38% of Palestinians support a permanent settlement package along the Clinton parameters and the Geneva Initiative, which includes a divided Jerusalem and territorial swaps for a final border agreement. However, these findings represent a drop in support for a package deal – down from 54% among Israelis and 46% of Palestinians in December of 2013.

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The survey was conducted by the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the Hebrew University and the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in Ramallah, with the support of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung in Ramallah and Jerusalem.

Given the Gaza war and the recent tensions in Jerusalem and the West Bank, just 7% percent of Israelis and 24% of Palestinians think the two sides will soon return to negotiations.

At the same time, each side perceives the other as constituting a threat to its very existence.

Among Israelis, 62% are worried that they or their family may be harmed by Arabs in their daily life. Among Palestinians, 82% are worried that they or their family could be hurt by Israel in their daily life or that their land would be confiscated or home demolished.

A majority of Palestinians, 58%, believe Israel’s long-term goals are to extend its borders to cover all the area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea and expel its Arab citizens. In addition, 24% think the goals are to annex the West Bank while denying political rights to Palestinians.

Similarly, 37% of Israelis believe Palestinian aspirations in the long run are to conquer the State of Israel and destroy much of the Jewish population, while 18% think the goals are to conquer the State of Israel.

The Palestinian sample size was 1,270 adults interviewed face-to-face in the West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip in 127 randomly selected locations between December 3 and 6, 2014. The margin of error is 3%. The Israeli sample includes 616 adult Israelis interviewed in Hebrew, Arabic or Russian between December 7 and 12, 2014. The margin of error is 4.5 percentage points.

The poll was planned and supervised by Prof. Ifat Maoz of Hebrew University and Prof. Khalil Shikaki, director of the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research.

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