Survey finds increased Israeli, Palestinian support for peace deal


JERUSALEM (JTA) — A majority of Israeli Jews and half of Palestinians support a permanent peace settlement, according to a new poll.

Some 58 percent of Israelis and 50 percent of Palestinians support a peace deal that would include a Jewish state and a Palestinian state formed along the 1967 lines with appropriate land swaps, an increase over previous years, according to a survey conducted jointly by the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in Ramallah. The survey released Wednesday was conducted with the support of the Ford Foundation Cairo office and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung in Ramallah and Jerusalem.

The survey also found that a majority of Israeli Jews and Palestinians believe the other side opposes such a settlement. In addition, some 78 percent of Palestinians believe a freeze on settlement construction should be required to return to peace negotiations, while 69 percent of Israeli Jews believe such a condition is not acceptable.

The figures of Israeli Jews and Palestinians that support a peace deal have significantly increased in recent years. In December 2010 some 52 percent of Israelis and 40 percent of Palestinians supported the scheme.

On the topic of Jerusalem, some 40 percent of Palestinians favor and 59 percent oppose a compromise whereby eastern Jerusalem would become the capital of a Palestinian state, with Arab neighborhoods coming under Palestinian sovereignty and Jewish neighborhoods coming under Israeli sovereignty. Some 38 percent of Israeli Jews favor and 60 percent oppose the compromise agreement.  

The survey also found that 47 percent of Israeli Jews support the bombing of Iran’s nuclear facilities, and 41 percent oppose it.  At the same time, some 48 percent of Palestinians believe Israel will actually carry out a military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities and the same number think Israel will not do so.

The Palestinian sample size was 1,270 adults interviewed face-to-face in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip in December 2011. The margin of error is 3 percent. The Israeli sample includes 605 adult Israeli Jews interviewed by phone in Hebrew, Arabic or Russian. The margin of error is 4.5 percent.

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