Support for two-state solution drops among Israelis, Palestinians

Published July 15th, 2015 - 09:30 GMT

Support for the two-state solution has decreased among both Palestinians and Israelis over the past year with just 51 percent of both populations vouching support, a recent poll showed.

Since June 2014, support for the two-state solution has decreased among Israelis from 62 percent to 51 percent and among Palestinians from 54 percent to 51 percent, according to a poll conducted jointly by the Harry Truman Research Institute and the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research.

Perception by both groups of the other as an existential threat remained the same. 

The poll reported that 56 percent of Palestinians believe that Israel’s long term goals are to extend its borders to cover the area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, expelling all Palestinian citizens.

Forty three percent of Israelis polled, meanwhile, think that Palestinian aspirations in the long run are to conquer and destroy much of the Jewish population in Israel.

The majority of the current Israeli government pieced together by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu following elections in March publicly opposes the establishment of an independent continuous Palestinian state.

The Palestinian leadership has said repeatedly that the continued expansion of settlements throughout occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank is making the option of a two-state solution championed in past peace negotiations nearly impossible. 

Over 60 percent of the land area of occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank is controlled by Israeli forces and is home to over half a million Israelis living in Jewish-only settlements deemed illegal under international law.

In spite of this, Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas said in the lead-up to Israeli elections that Palestinian leadership would embark on renewed negotiations with any Israeli government that supported the two-state solution.

Netanyahu unequivocally ruled out the possibility for an independent Palestinian state during his election campaign, in a statement he later back-peddled on following international criticism.

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