Most Israelis support Palestinian Unity Government

Monday, September 18, 2006 |  by Staff Writer
A poll fielded last week by the “Geneva Initiative” group found that most Israelis support negotiations with a Palestinian unity government which is being assembled these days by the Fatah and Hamas factions. The results of the poll will be presented today at a conference organized by the Geneva Initiative group

The poll, which covered the Jewish population only, was fielded last Monday and Tuesday by the Market Watch Institute led by Avinoam Brog. 500 people were polled with a margin of error of four percent.

The poll also shows that 45 percent of the people support negotiations with the Palestinian unity government and 43 percent are against. 64 percent support talking with Abu Mazen, 28 percent are against, and 30 percent support talking with Hamas. 63 percent oppose talking with Hamas. These numbers indicate a rise in the number of people who support negotiating with Hamas. Four months ago, only 12 percent supported and 76 percent opposed.

The participants were also asked what Israel should do politically with the situation that has emerged after the war. 61 percent are convinced that there is a need to negotiate with the Palestinian Authority in order to achieve a permanent settlement, and only eight percent support the realignment plan which includes unilateral withdrawals from parts of the West Bank.

Head of the Geneva Initiative group Gadi Blatiansky said in response that the results of the poll reflect the public’s strong wishes to see immediate negotiations with the Palestinians. “The public is braver than the government and they will push it to the negotiating table with the new Palestinian government, which signifies the end of the ‘no partner’ excuse era”, he added.

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