Monday, June 30, 2014

Palestinians overwhelmingly reject two-state solution, want Palestine 'from river to sea' A Palestinian demonstrator waves a Palestinian flag Poll: Palestinians overwhelmingly reject two-state solution, want Palestine 'from river to sea' However, clear majority also opposes violence to achieve goals, favors Abbas over Haniyeh. By Haaretz | Jun. 30, 2014 | 4:07 AM | 1 By more than a 2-1 margin, Palestinians oppose the two-state solution, favoring instead the goal of a Palestinian state "from the river to the sea," according to a recent poll by the centrist Washington Institute for Near East Policy. At the same time, though, the poll found that a large majority of Palestinians favored the tactic of "popular resistance" – such as demonstrations and strikes – over violence to achieve their goals, Globes reported Sunday. Interestingly, Gazans were more moderate when it came to tactics, but more hardline about the goal. The survey also found that West Bank leader Mahmoud Abbas was a much more popular leader than Gazan leader Ismail Haniyeh – both in the West Bank (28.1 percent to 6.9 percent) and in the Gaza Strip (32.4 percent to 11.7 percent). The poll, which questioned a relatively large sample of 1,200 respondents, was taken June 15-17 – following the abductions of three Israeli teenagers, the formation of the Fatah-Hamas unity government, and the collapse of the Kerry peace talks. However, it was conducted just before West Bank protests arose against Abbas for his cooperation with Israel's search for the kidnapped boys and crackdown on Hamas. Goals vs. tactics Asked what political goal they favored over the next five years, 60.3 percent replied "action to return historic Palestine, from the river to the sea, to our hands," while 27.3 percent answered "end[ing] the occupation of the West Bank in order to reach a two-state solution." Another 10.1 percent said the goal should be a "one-state solution, for the entire region, from the river to the sea, in which Jews and Arabs enjoy equal rights.” If a Palestinian leadership were to reach agreement with Israel on a two-state deal, 64 percent said Palestinians should still continue to press on for a Palestinian state encompassing the territories and Israel, while 31.6 percent said they would accept a two-state solution. On the question of tactics, again, the trend was toward moderation, with 70 percent of Gazans and 56 percent of West Bankers saying Hamas should observe a cease-fire with Israel. Asked if Hamas should go along with Abbas' demand that the unity government publicly renounce violence, 57 percent of Gazans agreed, while West Bankers were split evenly. Popular resistance won the support of 73 percent Palestinians in Gaza and 62 percent of those in the West Bank.

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