Israelis are increasingly coming to regard West Bank settlements as a financial burden and less likely to view them as a security necessity, according to a new poll published by Ariel University.
While Israeli support for maintaining Jewish communities in the West Bank is declining, a majority still oppose a major Israeli withdrawal, the poll says, according to the news site Arutz Sheva
The “most dramatic” changes noted by pollsters were the percentage of respondents favoring a large-scale withdrawal from the West Bank, which more than doubled — rising from 10 percent to 23 percent — and the major decrease in the percentage opposing the demolition of any Israeli community there (24 percent, down from 46 percent).
According to the poll, the percentage of Israelis charactering themselves as right wing fell from 57 percent in 2012 to 48 percent in this year’s poll, Israel Hayom reported
The polling was commissioned ahead of the 23rd
annual Judea and Samaria (West Bank) Research Conference.
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Some 52 percent of respondents said Jewish communities in the West Bank represent true Zionism, and 46 percent felt settlements said settlements provide a security buffer for the rest of Israel. Both figures represented declines from last year’s.
But polling data also indicate that many Israelis remain skeptical of Palestinian intentions.
Israelis regard a Palestinian pledge to end hostilities as “the most important aspect” in any future peace accord entailing territorial concessions, according to Israel Hayom.
But only 13 percent of poll respondents believe a two-state solution will end the conflict, compared with 11 percent last year and 16 percent two years ago.
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