Palestinian Polls

The PCPO poll showed a two-to-one preference for separate states of Israel and Palestine (55%) rather than “one binational state in all of Palestine” (28%). Similarly, 62% of the AWRAD respondents viewed a two-state solution as at least “tolerable.” More dramatically, AWRAD reported that an overwhelming majority (95%) of Palestinians would agree to “consider a comprehensive peace agreement, if implemented, as the end of the conflict.” Yet when asked whether “Palestinians and Israelis will coexist if Palestinians gain their own independent state,” a mere 17% answered “yes,” compared to 38% “maybe” and 42% “no.”

Still, the generally positive findings are broadly consistent with surveys conducted in early March and early June by Dr. Khalil Shikaki of the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PCPSR). Those polls showed around 60% support for a two-state solution and end of conflict, and even for “mutual recognition of Israel as the state for the Jewish people and Palestine as the state for the Palestinian people.” Moreover, they documented an upward overall trend in support of these and other compromises with Israel since August 2009.

Land swaps. According to the AWRAD poll, two-thirds of Palestinians said that adjusting “the 1967 border through agreement to equivalent exchange of land” would be at least “tolerable.” Even more pointedly, nearly half (47%) would also acquiesce to “moving [Israeli] settlers to large blocs and exchanging land.” That is a significant shift: reliable unpublished polls from this spring showed that land swaps were previously an important sticking point among Palestinians.

“Right of return.” In addition, nearly two-thirds (64%) of the AWRAD respondents said it would be at least “tolerable” for refugees to “return to Palestine (West Bank/Gaza) within agreed borders” as part of a peace agreement — implicitly excluding any actual return to Israel (though still refusing to concede their claimed historical right to do so). And fully half of the respondents would accept a UN decision “to close the refugee camps and resettle them with compensation outside of Israel.”

Jerusalem. Nearly half (46%) of the AWRAD respondents were willing to tolerate the option of “dividing the city according to Palestinian and Israeli neighborhoods” — implicitly conceding that Israel would retain the large post-1967 areas it annexed to the Jerusalem municipality, currently populated by nearly a quarter million Jewish residents. Moreover, exactly half of the Palestinian public would acquiesce to a compromise in which “the Western Wall will be under Israeli sovereignty,” as long as “Christian and Muslim holy sites, including the Temple Mount, will be under Palestinian sovereignty.”

Border security. In the same poll, although a majority (58%) of West Bank/Gaza Palestinians rejected the idea of “Israeli observation posts in the Palestinian state,” half said that they could live with an “agreed period” in which Israel has “access to the Jordanian border, for reasons of security.” Once again, this marks a significant shift toward a more flexible stance; previous polls showed predominant opposition to this scenario. In addition, a solid majority (78%) would at least tolerate the proposition of an international force, not just Palestinian troops, maintaining security on the West Bank border with Jordan.

most West Bank and Gaza Palestinians preferred either his “current government with a majority of independents” (47%) or “a government with a Fatah majority” (33%). Only 14% would opt for a Hamas-led government. only a third (37%) disagreed with the statement that “Hamas should recognize Israel if Israel agrees to withdraw from the Occupied Territories.”

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