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New poll shows decline in support for two-state solution amongst Palestinians, Israelis

July 30, 2023 at 8:43 am

A picture taken on February 23, 2017 shows a billboard, of unknown origin, on a main road leading to the West Bank city of Ramallah, reading in Arabic: ‘If the choice is between one state or two states, then I am choosing the one state’ [ABBAS MOMANI/AFP via Getty Images]

Support for a two-state solution has dropped amongst Palestinians and Israelis, amid an increasingly deteriorating security situation in the occupied territories.

In a joint poll named the Palestinian-Israeli Pulse, conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR) in Ramallah and the International Program in Conflict Resolution and Mediation at Tel Aviv University, found a significant drop in support for a two-state solution among both Israeli Jews and Palestinians.

The drop saw the support go from 43 per cent in September 2020 down to 33 per cent among the Palestinians and 34 per cent among Israeli Jews.  Among all Israelis – Jews and Palestinian Arabs – the support amounted to a total of 39 per cent. The figures represent the lowest level of support for the long-proclaimed political solution among all parties since the beginning of the Pulse poll in 2016.

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The poll – which involved 1,270 Palestinian adults who were interviewed face-to-face in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip, and 900 adult Israelis interviewed online – also found support by less Palestinians and Israelis on the whole for alternatives to the two-state solution, consisting of one state with equal rights and one state without rights. While the majority of Palestinians did not support either solution, more Israeli Jews supported the unequal one state solution than a two-state solution.

Most notably, there was a significant increase in the willingness amongst both sides to resort to open conflict against each other, with 31 per cent of the Palestinians (29 per cent in the West Bank and 34 per cent in the Gaza Strip) and only 30 per cent of Israeli Jews choosing to “reach a peace agreement” as the next step in the crisis. That is a notable decrease compared to 34 per cent and 41 per cent respectively who chose that option back in 2020.

That openness to conflict was further reinforced by the poll showing that 40 per cent of Palestinians prefer to “wage an armed struggle against the Israeli occupation” compared to 37 per cent just two years ago. As for Israeli Jews, 26 per cent of them call for “a definitive war with the Palestinians” compared to 19 per cent last year.