Poll: Few Israeli settlers will leave homes for cash

A minority of Israeli settlers would leave their West Bank homes voluntarily if the government paid them compensation, a poll revealed Friday. Defense Minister Ehud Barak voiced support earlier this week for a proposal to offer cash compensation to Jewish settlers living on the West Bank side of the security barrier, saying it will help avoid forced evacuations when Israel cedes land to the Palestinians. The route of the contentious barrier encloses major settlement blocs, home to two-thirds of settlers, which Israel plans to retain in a final peace agreement. The proposal suggests that the rest of the settlers, reportedly about 70,000, would be able to claim compensation and leave even before a peace agreement is signed. Friday's poll indicated that few settlers would agree to leave. The survey, carried out by the TNS Teleseker company and published in the daily Maariv, questioned 400 settlers and had a margin of error of 4.9 percentage points.