Two-thirds of Israelis back peace deal based on two-state solution: polls

2012-12-31 12:24:59 GMT2012-12-31 20:24:59(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

JERUSALEM, Dec. 31 (Xinhua) -- Two polls published Monday by Israeli news outlets revealed that about two-thirds of Israelis support a peace plan with the Palestinians based on the two-state principle, including a majority of right-wing voters.

Both of the polls were commissioned by the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace in Washington and conducted by the Dahaf Institute and the Rafi Smith institute, centering on Israeli public's views on the peace process with the Palestinians.

The Dahaf Institute study was carried out among 500 people, while the Smith Poll was conducted among a sample of 600 people.

In both polls, the participants were asked a same question: Would you support a demilitarized Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders, land swaps with large settlement blocs remaining under Israel's sovereignty?

The question was asked on the assumption that Palestinian refugees would be able to return to Palestinian land upon the agreement, and, while Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem would remain under Israeli sovereignty, Arab neighborhoods would be under Palestinian sovereignty, with holy places under religious supervision.

The Dahaf poll showed that 67 percent of Israelis would support a peace agreement with the Palestinians as long as it takes into account Israel's security needs.

It also found that such an agreement would gain the support of the majority of the Likud Beytenu voters (57 percent), as well as 53 percent of voters of the far-right Habayit Hayeudi (the Jewish Home) party.

Meantime, the Smith poll found that a higher percentage of those supporting the agreement are aged above 50 and are among the secular and Arab sectors.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu endorsed the two- state solution during his Bar Ilan speech in June 2009.

In an interview held two months ago to the Israeli Channel 2 news, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said the Palestinians are striving for a peace agreement with Israel based on the two- state solution.

Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians came to a halt in 2010 over the settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

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