Fewer than 50 per cent of all Palestinians and Israelis support the two-state solution, a new poll revealed on Thursday. The poll was conducted jointly by the Palestinian Centre for Policy and Survey Research and the Tami Steinmetz Centre for Peace Research at Tel Aviv University.
A previous poll conducted in June last year showed that 53 per cent of Palestinians and 47 per cent of Israelis support the two state solution. The new poll showed that 83 per cent of Israel’s Arab citizens support two states.
Support for alternative solutions to the two-state paradigm, posed by the centres, namely, the one-state solution in which the two parties enjoy equal rights, a one-state solution where the two sides do not enjoy equal rights, with expulsion or displacement, received less support than the two-state solution.
Forty per cent of the Palestinians, 35 per cent of the Israelis and 85 per cent of Arabs in Israel supported a comprehensive package for the permanent solution. The package includes a demilitarised Palestinian state; Israeli withdrawal to the 1967 borders with equal land swaps; the return of 100,000 Palestinian refugees to Israel; recognition of West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and East Jerusalem as Palestine’s capital; placing the Jewish Quarter and the Buraq Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City under Israeli sovereignty and Christian and Islamic neighbourhoods and Al- Aqsa Compound under Palestinian sovereignty; and an end to the conflict.
As many as 48 per cent of Israelis believed that the two-state solution is still practical, while 46 per cent saw the Israeli settlements as impractical. Among the Palestinians, 60 per cent said that the two-state solution is no longer practical while 37 per cent believe it is. Meanwhile, 75 per cent of Palestinians and 73 per cent of Israelis did not expect a Palestinian state in the next five years.
However, 44 per cent of the Israelis who oppose the package said that they would change their position provided that the Palestinian government commits to continued security cooperation, including exchanging intelligence with Israel, preventing attacks and arresting terror suspects. Among the Palestinians, 39 per cent said that they would change their position if Israel acknowledged the Nakba and the refugees’ suffering, and compensated them. According to the poll, 26 per cent of the Palestinians and 38 per cent of the Israelis supported peace. Only 38 per cent of Palestinians supported armed conflict against Israel and 18 per cent of Israelis supported waging a decisive war against the Palestinians.
The survey took place between 29 November and 14 December last year, and included 1,270 Palestinians from the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem and 900 Israelis, including 150 Arabs and 100 Jewish settlers.