Poll: Israelis Divided on Clinton Peace Plan
Israelis are divided on the peace plan with the Palestinians proposed by US President Bill Clinton in a last-ditch bid to strike a deal before he leaves office next month, according to an opinion poll published Monday.
The survey published in the Yediot Aharonot said 48 percent were opposed to the proposals which have been widely reported in the Israeli media and 43 percent were in favor, while nine percent were undecided.
The poll was conducted among 501 people and carried a margin of error of 4.5 percent.
Israeli press reports say the Clinton proposals involve Israel turning over control of Arab neighborhoods of occupied east Jerusalem to the Palestinians along with the al-Aqsa mosque compound, known to Jews as Temple Mount.
However, the Western Wall, the holiest site in Judaism, would remain under Israeli sovereignty.
In return, Palestinians would waive the right of return for some 3.5 million refugees, with only a small number allowed back to Israel for family reunification, the reports say.
In addition, Israel would withdraw from 95 percent of the West Bank and 100 percent of the Gaza Strip, territories the Jewish state has occupied along with east Jerusalem since the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.
The poll found that 60 percent were in favor of the transfer of Arab districts of Jerusalem while 39 percent were opposed, while just 43 percent backed the handing over of the Temple Mount and 57 percent disagreed.
Fifty-one percent backed the Palestinians having control over 95 percent of the West Bank excluding Jewish settlement blocs and 46 percent were opposed.
Only 27 percent agreed that a limited number of refugees should be able to return to Israel, against 72 percent who were opposed to the idea -- JERUSALEM (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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