Bus stoned in West Bank
Photo courtesy of Peace Now

Peace Now organizes settlement tours

Poll ordered by left-wing movement reveals 73% of Israelis have not visited West Bank in recent years. Following data, group decides to hold summer tours to settlements, outpost to explain its stance

A poll ordered recently by the Peace Now left-wing movement reveals that some 73% of Israelis have not visited the West Bank over the past few years, and those who have, did it as part of their military service or due to a family event.


Following the data, the movement decided to hold summer tours to settlements and outpost in order to allow people to closely examine the situation there.


A movement official said that one of the most difficult problems is explaining the current state of affairs in the territories, settlements and outposts to the Israeli public – as people find it difficult to understand the impacts of the settlement construction without personally visiting the area.


To tackle this problem, Peace Now ordered a survey from the Maagar Mochot research institution, aimed at examining the patterns of visiting the West Bank area among the wide public.


Asked "how many times have you visited settlements in the Judea and Samaria territories over the past five year?", 73% of the respondents said they have never visited the area, while 22% said they have visited the area once or several times as part of a trip, a visit, a family event, military service and business.

Peace Now bus with shattered windows (Photo courtesy of Peace Now)


According to the poll, the majority of the public have not visited the territories due to lack of interest and for fear of terror attacks, as well as for political reasons.


The survey also revealed that the frequency of visits to settlements among the ultra-Orthodox in particular and the Jewish sector in general is double the frequency among the Arab sector.


In addition, 79% of the Israeli public have never visited West Bank outposts. The percentage of visitors is higher among younger Israelis.


In response to the poll, Peace Now decided to hold a series of tours during the summer, appealing to people who have never visited the territories.


A first tour to settlements and outposts in the Binyamin region was held over the weekend with 80 participants. The buses they traveled in were stoned near the settlement of Shiloh, and the windows were damaged.


Additional tours are planned to the separation fence and roadblocks, as well as to the city of Hebron.


Peace Now Secretary-General Yariv Oppenheimer said, "More people prefer spending the summer holiday in Antalya and Paris than witnessing what is taking place a half-hour car drive away from their homes."


פרסום ראשון: 07.06.08, 14:16
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