Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is currently on the record in support of the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel, despite expressing reservations regarding such a two-state solution in the past. But a survey by an Israeli news outlet concluded, despite some evasive responses, that such a policy is only openly supported by a minority of Israel's cabinet ministers.
The informal poll conducted by Walla News showed that only four ministers were clearly on the record in support, nine are clearly against and the position of the seven others remains unknown.
If all of the seven ultimately come out in support, and if Netanyahu himself remains supportive of a two-state solution, there would be a cabinet majority for the policy, the website noted, but the seven currently seem to hold the balance of power.
The two-state solution is a cornerstone of international diplomacy on the Israeli-Palestinian issue and is expected to feature in a forthcoming report by the Middle East Quartet, the grouping consisting of the United States, the United Nations, the European Union and Russia.
The prime minister's most prominent expression of support for a Palestinian state came in a speech at Bar-Ilan University in 2009.
Some ministers declined to respond to the poll, including three from Netanyahu's Likud party: Gilad Erdan, Yuval Steinitz and Yisrael Katz, along with two Shas party ministers, Arye Dery and David Azoulay.
Although the new defense minister, Avigdor Lieberman, was similarly evasive, he is, at least on the record, in support of a Palestinian state. Ministers Moshe Kahlon, Yoav Galant and Tzachi Hanegbi, have also expressed support in one form or another.
But the largest group of ministers who have expressed themselves on the issue have voiced their opposition, including Likud ministers Ze'ev Elkin, Ofir Akunis, Gila Gamliel, Yariv Levin, Yisrael Katz and Miri Regev. Also known to oppose a two-state solution are Ministers Naftali Bennett, Ayelet Shaked and Uri Ariel, all of the Habayit Hayehudi party.
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