A general view picture shows the Israeli barrier running along the East Jerusalem refugee camp of Shuafat.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Support for the principle of a two-state solution among Palestinians and Israeli Jews stands below half, according to a public opinion poll published on Thursday.
Forty-seven percent of Palestinians and 46% of Israeli Jews said they back a two-state solution, which would include the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel.
Taking into account Arab citizens, however, 53% of Israelis favor two states.
The survey of 1,270 Palestinians from the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem and 900 Israelis was jointly conducted in late November and early December by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research and the Tami Steinmetz Center for Peace Research.
In a similar poll conducted in June 2017, 52% of Palestinians and 47% of Israeli Jews backed a two-state solution.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has said he supports a two-state solution, while his rival Hamas in Gaza has not backed such an arrangement.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said on a few occasions that he backs two states, but many government ministers have vociferously expressed their opposition.
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Moreover, when the pollsters asked about a specific peace deal along the lines of what has been proposed in previous negotiations, only 40% of Palestinians and 35% of Israeli Jews said they were in favor.
The proposed peace deal would include a demilitarized Palestinian state; an Israeli withdrawal to pre-1967 lines with territorial swaps; repatriation of 100,000 Palestinian refugees in Israel as a part of family reunification; west Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and east Jerusalem as Palestine’s capital; and the Old City’s Jewish Quarter and Western Wall under Israeli sovereignty, and Muslim and Christian quarters and the Temple Mount under Palestinian sovereignty.
While support for the proposed deal is relatively low among both Israelis and Palestinians, when the pollsters offered additional incentives, that support substantially increased.
For example, 44% of Israeli Jews who said they oppose the proposed peace deal would support such a plan if the future Palestinian state committed itself to security cooperation with Israel and preventing attacks against Israelis. With the addition of this incentive, 59% of Israeli Jews said they would support the suggested agreement.
In addition, 39% of Palestinians who said they are against the proposed peace deal would back it if Israel recognized and provided compensation for the Nakba, the 1948 Palestinian exodus. If it included this incentive, 62% of Palestinians said they would back the suggested agreement.
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