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Results of Latest Israeli-Palestinian Opinion Poll

Palestinians believe they are of greater need of success in the negotiations

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64% of the Palestinians believe that they and not Israel are of greater need of success in the direct negotiations; 51% among Israelis believe that both sides are of equal need of success. Nevertheless both publics are skeptical about the success of the talks, Israelis overwhelmingly support their continuation while Palestinians oppose it. If the peace talks fail, the option endorsed by most Palestinians is to ask the UN Security Council to recognize a Palestinian State. The second most popular option is to declare unilaterally the establishment of a Palestinian state. The options to resort to resistance are less popular. However Israelis misperceive these preferences, and fear that Palestinians will resume the Intifada.

Palestinian Israeli talks

  • Regarding the construction freeze in the settlements 29% of the Israelis support a full construction freeze in all settlements 36% support construction only in settlement blocks which will remain under Israeli rule in a future agreement and 28% support unlimited construction in all settlements.
  • Now after more than a month since the beginning of the direct negotiations 78% of the Israelis support their continuation while only 30% among Palestinians support it.
  • Neither Palestinians nor Israelis think that the negotiations will succeed and yield an agreement. Only 6% of the Palestinians and 5% of the Israelis think that there are high or very high chances for that.
  • If the peace talks fail, the option endorsed by most Palestinians is to ask the UN Security Council to recognize a Palestinian State (69%). The next most popular option (54% support) is to unilaterally declare a Palestinian state. 51% support the option to start a non-violent resistance.

The Saudi Plan

56% of the Israelis oppose and 33% support the Saudi initiative which calls for Arab recognition of and normalization of relations with Israel after it ends its occupation of Arab territories occupied in 1967 and after the establishment of a Palestinian state. The plan calls for Israeli retreat from all territories occupied in 1967 including Gaza, the West Bank, Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, and the establishment of a Palestinian state. The refugees problem will be resolved through negotiation in a just and agreed upon manner and in accordance with UN resolution 194. In return, all Arab states will recognize Israel and its right to secure borders, will sign peace treaties with her and establish normal diplomatic relations.

  • 35% of the Israelis support yielding to American pressure to accept and implement the Arab (Saudi) Peace Initiative, while 55% oppose it. Among Palestinians 53% accept such pressure while 42% will reject it.

Conflict management and threat perceptions

  • 52% of the Israelis support and 44% oppose talks with Hamas if needed to reach a compromise agreement with the Palestinians.
  • Neither Palestinians nor Israelis consider it likely that an independent Palestinian State will be established next to the State of Israel in the next five years. Two thirds of the Palestinians and 60% of the Israelis think that chances for the establishment of an independent Palestinian State next to the State of Israel are non-existent or low; 35% of Israelis and 32% of Palestinians believe the chances are medium or high.
  • The current poll shows that 64% of the Israelis support and 24% oppose mutual recognition of Israel as the state for the Jewish people and Palestine as the state for the Palestinian people. Among Palestinians, 49% support and 48% oppose this step.
  • Despite the recent return to dialogue between Fateh and Hamas to reach a reconciliation agreement, neither Palestinians nor Israelis believe that unity of Gaza and the West Bank will be resumed soon: only 14% of Palestinians and 6% of Israelis think so. 51% of Palestinians and 29% of Israelis think that unity will be resumed only after a long time. 30% of Palestinians and 47% of Israelis believe that Gaza and the West Bank will stay two separate entities.

The Palestinian sample size was 1270 adults interviewed face-to-face in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip in 127 randomly selected locations between September 30 and October 2, 2010. The margin of error is 3%. The Israeli sample includes 610 adult Israelis interviewed by phone in Hebrew Arabic or Russian between October 3 and 7, 2010. The margin of error is 4%. The Joint Israeli-Palestinian Poll is supported by the Ford Foundation (Cairo) and the Adenauer Stiftung (Jerusalem and Ramallah). The poll was planned and supervised by Prof. Yaacov Shamir, the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace and the Department of Communication and Journalism at the Hebrew University, and Prof. Khalil Shikaki, Director of the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR). For further details on the Palestinian survey contact PSR director, Prof. Khalil Shikaki or Walid Ladadweh, at tel. 02-2964933 or email On the Israeli survey, contact Prof Yaacov Shamir at tel. 03-6419429 or email

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