Poll: 68 Percent of Palestinians Support Peace Talks If Settlements Frozen

Similar Amounts Oppose New Intifada But Support Peaceful Protests

by Jason Ditz, February 21, 2013

A new poll from the Arab World for Research and Development (AWRAD) is showing a solid two-thirds majority of Palestinians in favor of a peace deal with Israel, with 68 percent supporting an immediate resumption if negotiations if Israel agrees to a new settlement freeze.

The last peace talks ended in September of 2010, when the Israeli government abandoned a partial settlement freeze and began a period of unrestrained expansion in the occupied West Bank.

The poll also showed 69 percent of Palestinians believe that peaceful protests, like the erection of the Bab al-Shams camp have a chance to make a real and lasting stride toward ending the occupation. 65 percent opposed a new violent Intifada under any cirumstances.

Such a solid bloc supporting peace is encouraging, but it remains to be seen if they will have any partners in the incoming Israeli government. Justice Minister Tzipi Livni is tapped to negotiate a peace deal, but Likud members opposed to peace have sought to push through a bill effectively banning any peace that isn’t previously approved by referendum. With Israeli settlers overwhelmingly opposed to peace and the rest of the country mostly ambivalent on the matter, such referendums are likely a non-starter.

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