'Israelis, Palestinians want US strides on conflict'

Pew Poll: Populations hold differing views on peaceful two-state solution, means to achieving an independent Palestinian state.

May 9, 2013 21:26
1 minute read.
US President Barack Obama.

Obama talking with his hands 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

Israelis and Palestinians are both in favor of US President Barack Obama increasing his involvement in resolving the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict, despite differing views on the reality of a peaceful two-state solution and the means to achieving an independent Palestinian state.

In a poll conducted by the Pew Research Center, results showed that about half (49 percent) of Israelis want Obama to have a larger role in resolving the Middle East conflict, while 15% want him to be less involved and 29% think his role should remain as it is. Results from Palestinians surveyed showed similar responses with 41% favoring more involvement by the Obama administration. About a quarter (26%) of Palestinians want Obama to downplay his role in the region and 19% think the amount of US involvement on the issue should stay the same.

The survey showed that West Bank residents were more likely than those living in Gaza to encourage more involvement by Obama to resolve the conflict. Of those surveyed in the West Bank, 47% wanted in influx of US involvement, while 30% in Gaza favored such a move.

While results showed that Israeli and Palestinian pollsters hold similar views on US involvement in resolving the stalemate conflict, the numbers showed a staggering difference between the two populations’ belief that a peaceful two-state solution could be reached.

According to the survey, half of Israelis think a peaceful coexistence with an independent Palestinian state is plausible, contrary to 38% that do not think such a situation could become a reality, while 9% said it depends.  Poll results from Palestinians showed only 14% believe the prospect of living peacefully alongside Israel, while 61% do not and 22% believe it would depend.

While survey results showed a small percentage of Palestinians who think the peaceful existence of an individual state was possible, almost half (45%) see armed struggle as the most effective means of achieving such statehood. An equal 15% of Palestinians polled believe statehood could be reached through negotiations or nonviolent resistance, and 22% think an independent Palestinian state could be founded from a combination of initiatives.

The surveys was conducted from March 3 to April 12, 2013 surveying 14,997 people in 12 countries and the Palestinian territories. In Israel and the Palestinian territories polls took place after Obama’s trip to the region in March.

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