Poll: Most Israelis oppose leaving West Bank for Arab world's recognition
Poll finds two-thirds of Palestinians support Arab peace plan, both sides support extending Gaza truce.
Two-thirds of Palestinians support a plan that offers Israel full recognition from the Arab world in return for withdrawing from occupied territory, and nearly two-thirds of Israelis oppose it, according to a survey released Tuesday.
The poll also indicated that a majority of Israelis and Palestinians support an extension of a truce between Israel and Gaza's Hamas rulers. The truce, which has become increasingly shaky in recent weeks, expires on Friday.
The Arab League's peace plan was first proposed in 2002. In recent weeks, President Shimon Peres and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas have tried to revive the idea. Israel's official position is that the plan can be a basis for negotiations, but it objects to some aspects of it, including the prospect of Palestinian refugees being resettled in Israel.
Last month, Abbas ran ads telling Israeli newspaper readers they would win recognition from 57 Arab and Islamic countries if Israel withdraws from all the territories it occupied in the 1967 Mideast War.
According to the survey, 61 percent of Israelis oppose the trade-off and 36 percent support it. Among Palestinians, 66 percent support the idea and 30 percent oppose it.
The poll showed there's greater support among Israelis for a proposal that would see Israel withdraw from the West Bank and Gaza but keep some Israeli settlements in less than 3 percent of the West Bank. That land would be swapped for an equal amount of Israeli territory.
That is the general framework discussed in peace talks in the 1990s and again since negotiations have been renewed over the past year.
Forty-six percent of Israelis support and 48 percent oppose that plan. Among Palestinians, 54 percent back the plan and 44 percent oppose it.
The poll also indicates that 49 percent of Israelis and 57 percent of Palestinians want U.S. President-elect Barack Obama to become more involved in solving their conflict.
The survey was conducted jointly by the Harry S Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in Ramallah. The Israeli pollsters questioned 600 people, with an error margin of 4.5 percentage points. The Palestinian survey included 1,270 respondents and had an error margin of 3 percentage points.