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24% of Israeli Jews believe West Bank annexation is main government objective

Construction workers build illegal settlements in West Bank [File photo, Wisam Hashlamoun/Apaimages]
Construction workers build illegal settlements in the West Bank, 9 October 2017 [Wisam Hashlamoun/Apaimages]

Around 24 per cent of Israeli Jews believe that the main political objective of their government is to annex the occupied Palestinian West Bank and continue controlling the whole area, Arab48.com reported on Tuesday. In the same poll, conducted by the Commanders for Israel's Security movement, 55 per cent of the 602 respondents believe that a permanent solution is best, while 21 per cent regard unilateral disengagement as the best way forward.

Israeli news website Walla reported the poll results. At a political level, 52 per cent of the ruling Likud's voters support a permanent solution based on defined borders with Israel being the neighbour of an unarmed Palestine state, civil disengagement with the evacuation of isolated settlements and maintaining a military presence. The alternative presented in the poll was full Israeli sovereignty over the occupied Palestinian territories with a mixed population of Palestinians and settlers. Thirty-one per cent of the party's membership supports annexation and 18 per cent backs unilateral disengagement.

Settlement - Cartoon [Sarwar Ahmed/MiddleEastMonitor]

Settlement – Cartoon [Sarwar Ahmed/MiddleEastMonitor]

About 44 per cent of the respondents linked to Jewish Home chose the retention of full Israeli sovereignty; 35 per cent would choose a permanent solution with 19 per cent opting for unilateral disengagement. One-third of right-wing Yisrael Beiteinu party's members supported annexation, 38 per cent backed a permanent solution and 29 per cent would go for unilateral disengagement.

With regard to the opposition parties, 67 per cent of the Zionist Camp, 63 per cent of There is a Future and 86 per cent of Meretz supported the permanent solution based on defined borders, while four per cent, ten per cent and seven per cent respectively opt for annexation.

Read: Netanyahu pulls annexation bill ahead of vote

Commanders for Israel's Security is a non-partisan movement, which includes 250 former senior officers from the Israel Defence Forces, Shin Bet, Mossad and the Israeli police. It is opposed to the annexation of the occupied territories and imposing Israeli domination over the Palestinians, but sticks to the political and security conditions of any solution.

"The annexation law is dangerous as it pushes Israel to become a binational state and this is the end of the Zionist dream," said the head of the group, Reserve Brigadier-General Amnon Reshef.

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