Fewer than four out of every ten Palestinians polled support a traditional peace deal with Israel, while more than a quarter of Palestinians believe their leadership’s goal is to conquer Israel, according to the latest poll done by Hebrew University and the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research. Palestinian support for a traditional peace deal—derived from the negotiations in the late 1990s and early 2000s—has dropped eight percentage points since last year at this time, to just 38 percent. Even the peace deal proposed by Saudi Arabia has just 43 percent support among Palestinians.
Meanwhile, 37 percent of Palestinians oppose an end to the conflict and claims after a comprehensive peace deal is signed. 61 percent of Palestinians support ending the fight in that scenario.
The decline in an interest in peace comes after a difficult and contentious year in the Middle East. A kidnapping of three Jewish teenagers by Palestinian terrorists kicked off a spike in the conflict that led to a renewed war between Gaza and Israel. In addition, the Palestinian leadership has gone to the United Nations to try and force Israel to withdraw from territory they claim by 2017.
The fighting continued this week, with a Gaza sniper shooting an Israeli soldier on the Israeli side of the security fence with Gaza. The IDF Blog reported that in response, Israel struck Hamas “positions” near the attack area.
The incident follows a Gaza rocket attack on Israel earlier this week. “This attack, the second of this week, is a lethal violation of the relative quiet along the Gaza border and is a blatant breach of Israel’s sovereignty,” said IDF Spokesperson Lt. Col. Peter Lerner in the IDF Blog report.
“The IDF will continue to use all necessary means in order to maintain the safety of the citizens of southern Israel and will not hesitate to respond to any attempt to harm IDF soldiers.”
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, December 24, 2014)