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Support for a two-state solution dropping — poll

Only 51% of Israelis and Palestinians favor two states for two people, survey shows

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's religions and Diaspora affairs correspondent.

Bill Clinton looks on as Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat shake hands during the signing of the Oslo Accords, September 13, 1993. On the far right, current Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. (GPO)
Bill Clinton looks on as Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat shake hands during the signing of the Oslo Accords, September 13, 1993. On the far right, current Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. (GPO)

Only a thin majority of Israelis and Palestinians support a two-state solution, according to a study released Wednesday by Israel’s Hebrew University.

Moreover, a high percentage of both groups believe that the other side intends to capture their territory and expel them.

Belief in a two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict stood at 62 percent among Israelis and 54% among Palestinians in 2014.

But today only 51% of both groups are in favor of creating two separate countries for Arabs and Jews.

The survey, which was carried out 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, polled approximately 2,000 adults — 1,200 Palestinians in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip and 802 adult Israelis — in early June 2015.

The majority of both Israelis and Palestinians fear that they or someone in their family will be harmed by the other side, though the percentage is much higher, almost 80%, among Palestinians, opposed to 56% of Israelis.

The pollsters also asked the respondents about their expectations of their own people in peace negotiations. Of the Israelis questioned, 42% said they believe Israel plans to withdraw at least partially to the 1967 lines after guaranteeing Israel’s security.

Approximately 32% said Israel plans to annex the West Bank and either withhold political rights from the Palestinians living there or expel them.

Among the Palestinians questioned, 68% said the Palestinian Authority and the PLO aim to regain some or all of the territories conquered by Israel in the 1967 Six Day War.

Some 1% responded that the Palestinian aspirations are to conquer the State of Israel and regain control over pre-1948 Palestine, while 10% said that the aspirations are to conquer the State of Israel and destroy much of the Jewish population in Israel.

The questions did not address how people felt about those expectations, i.e., whether they were fears or hopes.

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