Israel and the Arabs
Israel and the ArabsScreenshot -- Prager University

A majority of Arabs in Judea, Samaria and Gaza favor two states only as a step towards an Arab state of Palestine, by the use of violence, if necessary, according to a new poll by the non- profit The Israel Project.

The results of the survey were released on Friday, hours before Palestinian Authority negotiator Saeb Erekat said that if Israel agrees to recognizing the Palestinian Authority as a new Arab country based on Israel’s size being shrunk to the indefensible 1949 Armistice Line borders, the PA then would relinquish all claims to “historic Palestine,” which he said includes all of Israel from the Dead Sea to the Mediterranean Seas.

The Israel Project poll of PA Arabs shows that 60 percent favor direct negotiations with Israel for “two states” of the Palestinian Authority and Israel, but it also reveals that two-thirds agree that “over time, Palestinian must work to get back all the land for a Palestinian state.”

Only 23 percent of the respondent agreed that  “Israel has a permanent right to exist as a homeland for the Jewish people.”

The option of armed violence still is a high priority for a majority of PA Arabs, 58 percent preferring “armed struggle” over “engagement with Israel.” A majority of Arabs in both Gaza and Judea and Samaria favor violence, with a higher percentage in Gaza.

On the other hand, Arab opinion was somewhat more conciliatory when respondents were given the option that an agreement with Israel would be based on 1949-1967 Armistice lines, once referred to former Israel Ambassador to the United Nations Abba Eban as “Auschwitz borders.”

Most of the PA Arab would like to see an end to the naming of public places after terrorists, but only a tiny minority of 12 percent agree that official maps, documents and school textbooks should show the name ”Israel.”

As in previous polls, the popularity of Hamas has declined, even in Gaza, where the rival Fatah party would easily win if elections were held today.

In contrast to another recent poll that showed PA Arabs as having a favorable view of Iran, most of the respondents in the Israel Project poll had negative opinions on Iran and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.