67 per cent of Israelis want peace with the Palestinians

Survey indicates that most Israelis want peace and that public opinion is less intransigent than members of the Knesset. Respondents are polled on an agreement based on the Geneva initiative and a two-state solution. Israeli force raid Gaza, two dead.

Jerusalem (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Two Israelis in three (67 per cent) are in favour of a peace agreement with the Palestinians, this according to a recent survey conducted by the Dahaf Institute on behalf of the the Center for Middle East Peace and Economic Cooperation, directed by Danny Abraham. In the meantime, the two sides are still fighting each. Two Palestinians died in a gunfight between Israeli soldiers and Islamic extremists in Gaza.

Released by Peace Now, the poll titled ‘Positions of the Israeli Public and the Political Leadership (MKs) Regarding a Possible Peace Agreement’ looked at various scenarios for peace based on principles similar the Ayalon-Nusseibeh agreement and the Geneva Initiative of two states for two peoples.

People were asked whether they agreed to a solution based on the following principles: a two-state solution (Israeli - Jewish State + Palestinian State); return of refugees to Palestine only; a demilitarised Palestinian state, the 1967 lines with an exchange of territory; Jerusalem with- Jewish neighbourhoods to be in Israel, Arab Neighbourhoods to be in Palestine; and finally the Old City under a joint management-sovereignty for both sides and the US.

About 67 per cent of Israelis (63 per cent of Israeli Jews) said they were in favour of such an agreement. Among people who voted for Likud and Lieberman in 2009, 50 per cent were in favour of the agreement. Voters of the ultraorthodox Shas party rejected the agreement by 55 to 42 per cent.

The main factor that led some to reject the agreement was lack of trust that the Palestinian side would live up to its obligations. A second factor, but on a much smaller level, was outright opposition to the principle of a Palestinian state.  Opposition to sharing sovereignty over Jerusalem was even lower as a reason for opposing the proposed solution.

The survey also showed that members of the Knesset are much more rightwing then public opinion in general.

Source: Asia News


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