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MIDEAST > 66% of Israelis oppose Palestinian state in W. Bank: poll

JERUSALEM - Agence France-Presse

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A general view shows the construction site of a new housing project at the Jewish settlement of Har Homa in east Jerusalem on December 20, 2012. Israel has approved plans to build 523 homes in the West Bank, Jewish settlers said, in the first step towards a new settlement "city" that drew furious condemnation from the Palestinians. AFP PHOTO/AHMAD GHARABLI

A general view shows the construction site of a new housing project at the Jewish settlement of Har Homa in east Jerusalem on December 20, 2012. Israel has approved plans to build 523 homes in the West Bank, Jewish settlers said, in the first step towards a new settlement "city" that drew furious condemnation from the Palestinians. AFP PHOTO/AHMAD GHARABLI

Two-thirds of Israelis are opposed to the establishment of a demilitarised Palestinian state in the West Bank, a poll showed on Friday.
 
According to the results of a Maagar Mohot survey published in Maariv newspaper, when asked if they would support the establishment of such a state, 66 percent said they would not, while 11 percent said they would.
 
The poll, which questioned 511 people between December 19-20, has a margin of error of 4.5 percent.
 
Just over half -- or 51 percent -- said they would support building new settler homes in a highly sensitive area of the West Bank called E1, which lies between annexed east Jerusalem and the nearby Maaleh Adumim settlement.
 
Only nine percent said they were against such a move. The remaining 40 percent were undecided.
 
Three weeks ago, Israel said it was planning to build thousands of settler homes there, sparking a major diplomatic backlash, with experts saying it could cause severe harm to the contiguity of a future Palestinian state.
 
With less than five weeks until general elections on January 22, the poll found steady support for the rightwing nationalist Likud-Beitenu list headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which was seen taking 37 of the 120 seats in parliament, down one from last week's survey.
 
The centre-left Labour held steady at 20 seats, while the nationalist pro-settler Jewish Home rose one to 12 seats.
 
The ultra-Orthodox Shas lost one seat to stand at 11, while the opposition Kadima -- currently the largest party in parliament with 28 seats -- was seen taking just one seat, reflecting multiple surveys which have said the party would be all but wiped out.
 
The centre-right HaTnuah party of former foreign minister Tzipi Livni was flat at nine seats, while the centrist Yesh Atid was seen shedding one seat to hold at eight.
 
Overall, the poll saw the bloc of rightwing and ultra-Orthodox parties taking 69 seats, compared with 41 for the centre-left.

December/21/2012

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