A new poll shows a solid majority of Israelis – 64% – supports the continuation of the settlement enterprise in Judea and Samaria. The remaining 36% support a temporary freeze on Jewish construction there or a complete freeze of construction.
While these numbers are unchanged from last year, this year's poll shows a small increase compared to last year in the percentages of Israelis who think Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria is a "truly Zionist deed" (64%) and that Judea and Samaria are the country's security belt (57%).
The annual poll tests the Israeli public's views on the settlement enterprise. It was conducted by Dr. Miriam Billig, Director of Research and Development for Samaria and the Jordan Valley, and Dr. Udi Lebel of the Ariel University Center.
The pollsters say the Israeli public is gradually moving to the political right, and is growing more appreciative of the Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria.
Asked to rank the factors influencing them when mulling the best solution for Judea and Samaria, 48% named the rockets that Gaza Arabs have been launching at Israel's south for many years, and a similar proportion cited the current situation of the Jews expelled from Gush Katif in 2005. Forty-three percent cited Hamas's rule in Gaza and 41% the fact that settlers are overrepresented among IDF combat soldiers.