Most Palestinians now oppose 2-state solution

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WEST BANK: Palestinians no longer support a two-state solution to the conflict with Israel, a survey released on Monday showed, rejecting the goal that has underpinned four decades of international diplomacy.

The poll by the Palestinian Centre for Policy and Survey Research, a leading research group in the Palestinian territories, found that 51% of Palestinians oppose the two-state solution while 48% support it. The figures were down from 51% support and 48% opposition three months ago.

The survey was carried out on 1,270 people in the occupied West Bank and in Gaza from Sept. 17-19. The two-state solution – an independent Palestine existing side-by-side with Israel – has been the broad objective of negotiations since the mid-1970s and the overriding focus of US-led diplomacy for the past 20 years. Perhaps more worrying from a sentiment point of view is that nearly two-thirds of those surveyed (65%) said they did not believe the two-state solution was any longer practical because of Israel’s settlement expansion in the West Bank.

The survey was conducted at a time of heightened Israeli-Palestinian tension, particularly over a Jerusalem shrine holy to Muslims and Jews. It also comes amid deep rifts in Palestinian politics between the Fatah party of President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas, which is in charge in Gaza.

“Additionally, the developments indicated in this poll might have also been triggered by anger at the Arab world as the overwhelming majority believes that Arabs no longer care about the fate of the Palestinians,” the director of the poll, Khalil Shikaki, wrote in a commentary.

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