September 2019 annexation proposal by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. (Nice4What, adapted from map by NordNordWest, via Wikimedia Commons)

Survey: Less Than Half of Israelis Support West Bank Annexations

According to a survey by the Israel Democracy Institute (IDI), some 45% of Israelis – including a slight majority of 52% of Jewish citizens – support annexing areas of the West Bank in accordance with US President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace plan. By contrast, the poll found that just under one-third of the public opposes the unilateral application of Israeli sovereignty to territories claimed by the Palestinians as part of a future state, a position held by over half of Arab-Israeli respondents. Nearly a quarter of those queried by the IDI expressed no opinion. Notably, only 32% of Israelis believe the prospective government – which is slated to be sworn in on Thursday – will actually move forward with annexations in the near future. This, despite the assertion last week by US ambassador to Israel David Friedman that Washington was prepared to recognize Israeli sovereignty over portions of the West Bank that are currently being mapped out by a joint committee of six high-ranking American and Israeli officials. The recent coalition deal between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Blue and White party head Benny Gantz stipulates that as of July 1 the former “will be able to bring the agreement reached with the US on the application of sovereignty [in the West Bank] for the approval of the cabinet and or the Knesset [parliament].” The matter is expected to feature prominently in discussions between the Israeli leaders and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who is scheduled to visit Israel for only a few hours on Wednesday.

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