The majority of Israelis are against ending the 50-year occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, a poll released Tuesday showed, which also found that most Israelis want full control over the city of Jerusalem, while Palestinians want its east side as their capital.
The poll, conducted by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, found that 77 percent of all Israelis oppose a full Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank, which has been illegally occupied for the past 50 years.
Most Israelis also opposed another withdrawal option that would allow Israel to keep the internationally-illegal settlements it has constructed in the West Bank but withdraw from the rest of the Palestinian territory with 57 percent saying they opposed such an option.
The findings also indicated that support for ending the Israeli occupation as part of a peace agreement was halved over the past 12 years from 6 percent in 2005 to just 36 percent in 2017.
Meanwhile, 79 percent of Israelis believe Jerusalem must be unified under Israeli control, in contradiction to longstanding international peace negotiations and international law, Palestinian news agency Ma’an said in a report covering the findings of the poll.
The Israeli government wants the highly-contested city to be Israel’s capital, a controversial move given Israel’s illegal occupation of East Jerusalem since 1967 and its later annexation of East Jerusalem in a move never recognized by the international community, including the United States.
The Israeli government, the most right-wing in the country’s history, is packed with far-right officials who oppose any Palestinian state and have repeatedly called for the annexation of the West Bank, an idea that U.S. President Donald Trump recently expressed tangible support for.
The Trump administration also said it would relocate its embassy to Jerusalem in a move that would further embolden the Israeli government to keep the occupation and push for West Bank annexation.
The United Nations and other rights groups in Israel and Palestine have repeatedly accused Israel of human rights abuses and crimes against humanity over its continuing illegal occupation and the brutal treatment of Palestinians in the West Bank.