Netanyahu. Explained away blunder?
Photo: AFP

Poll: Most Israelis support east Jerusalem construction

War and Peace Index finds that despite support for Ramat Shlomo homes, most people don't believe Netanyahu was unaware of plan to announce them during Biden's visit

Most Israelis do not believe Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was unaware of the plan to announce the construction of 1,600 new housing units in east Jerusalem at the time of US Vice President Joe Biden's visit, according to the War and Peace Index.


The poll found that 62% of Israelis do not believe Netanyahu's disavowal of knowledge, and 54% believe Israel must consider Washington's stance on the expansion of settlements, even due to "natural growth".


However most of those asked by the survey supported the view that construction in east Jerusalem should be treated like construction in Tel Aviv, despite the harsh criticism launched at the government over the recent diplomatic dispute with the US.


Only a quarter of those polled believe the construction project should not have been approved, with 41% saying that only the timing was wrong. The number of people supportive of the construction in Ramat Shlomo neighborhood is twice that of its objectors.


In general, however, support of the government seems to have waned, with just 34% desiring it to continue leading in its current form. Among Likud voters, 56% support the current government, while among Labor voters 57% want a government with Likud, Labor, and Kadima.


The poll also found widespread support for settlements. Despite the fact that just 6% of those polled have lived or had family living beyond the 1967 borders, 47% objected to the evacuation of all West Bank settlements in favor of an agreement with the Palestinians.


Among supporters of negotiations with the Palestinians, however, 48% supported the evacuation of all settlements in exchange for an agreement, while 75% of those opposed to the relaunching of talks objected to evacuations.


A majority of 58% supported a partial evacuation of settlements, but 47% agreed with previous governments' decisions to found settlements in the West Bank, while 40% did not. The figures show a waning support for settlements, as the same poll conducted in 2001 found that 61% agreed with the decision, while just 28% did not.


Opinions were split on whether the government should offer compensation to settlers willing to leave the West Bank of their own accord, with 49% supporting the move and 42% objecting.


However there was a relative consensus on support for the two-state solution. Only a small minority of 14% supported a plan founding a bi-national state west of Jordan, in which Israelis and Palestinians would have equal rights.


A majority of 66% supported the founding of a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders with land-swaps allowing Israel to keep large settlement blocs.


פרסום ראשון: 03.22.10, 14:13
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