'More people support than oppose Palestinian state'

BBC poll asks 20,000 people in 19 countries if they support independent Palestine; 49% of responders say yes, 21% say no, 30% not sure.

September 19, 2011 09:36
1 minute read.
Palestinian Flag

Palestinian Flag 311. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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More people around the world support an independent Palestinian state than oppose it, according to a BBC poll released on Monday.

BBC surveyed people in 19 countries around the world asking them if they support the establishment of a Palestinian state. Cumulatively, 49 percent of those surveyed support the move and 21% oppose it.

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As the Palestinians prepared over the weekend to bring the question of Palestinian statehood before the United Nations, Israel and the United States tried feverishly to avoid the vote and instead entice the Palestinians to return to the negotiating table.

Of the nations surveyed, the strongest objections to the unilateral declaration came from the United States and the Philippines (Israel was not among the nations polled), where 36% of those surveyed said their government should not support the move of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to secure Palestinian statehood at the United Nations in New York this week. Despite their objections, however, 45% of Americans and 56% of Filipinos polled said they do support the move.

Europeans responded similarly, with 54% of French responders supporting and 20% not supporting, 53% of Germans supporting and 28% not supporting, and 53% of Brits supporting, with 26% not supporting the creation of a Palestinian state.

Muslim countries showed stronger support for the state. Ninety percent of Egyptians voted in favor, while only 9% opposed, and 60% of Turks voted in favor, while only 19% voted against the move.

Of over 20,000 people surveyed during July and August, 30% of responders either abstained from casting a vote or chose the "it depends" option on the ballot.

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