Palestinian support for a two-state solution has rapidly dwindled to record lows, according to a new poll released by the US-based think tank the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
According to the results, less than 30 percent of Palestinians support a two-state solution with more than 60 percent of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip agreeing that the long term goal “should be to work toward reclaiming all of historic Palestine, from the river to the sea.”
Over the course of five years, the majority of Palestinians wish to see the total elimination of Israel while a small majority would like to “end the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza to achieve a two-state solution.”
The results of the latest poll are in sharp contrast to results obtained by a December 2013 poll conducted by Hebrew University in which 53 percent of Palestinians supported a two-state solution.
Two-thirds of respondents agreed that should there be a two-state solution, it would be “part of a ‘program of stages,’ to liberate all of historic Palestine later.” Respondents agreed that “resistance should continue until all of historical Palestine is liberated.”
However, on a more promising note, majority of respondents opposed violent resistance against Israel. In Gaza, 70 percent said that Hamas should maintain a ceasefire with Israel while 57 percent agreed that Hamas should join the Palestinian unity government in renouncing violent.
In the West Bank, 56 percent said that Hamas should continue a ceasefire and half of respondents, 50 percent, said the terror organization should renounce violent entirely.
The results of the poll show that a clear majority of Palestinians support nonviolent “popular resistance against the occupation.” 62 percent of the West Bank and 73 percent of Gazans view nonviolent popular resistance as a useful tactic against Israel.
While Hamas leaders hoped that agreeing to take part in a united Palestinian government would increase its clout among Palestinians, results of the poll showed otherwise. Over 65 percent of respondents answered that Fatah leaders, led by Mahmoud Abbas, should lead the Palestinian Authority over the next two years.
The Washington Institute conducted the poll using “a leading Palestinian pollster” via in person interviews of 1,200 Palestinian adults. The poll has a statistical margin of error of three percent.