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More Israeli Jews favor transfer of Palestinians, Israeli Arabs - poll finds
By Amnon Barzilai

Some 46 percent of Israel's Jewish citizens favor transferring Palestinians out of the territories, while 31 percent favor transferring Israeli Arabs out of the country, according to the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies' annual national security public opinion poll.

In 1991, 38 percent of Israel's Jewish population was in favor of transferring the Palestinians out of the territories while 24 percent supported transferring Israeli Arabs.

When the question of transfer was posed in a more roundabout way, 60 percent of respondents said that they were in favor of encouraging Israeli Arabs to leave the country. The results of the survey also reveal that 24 percent of Israel's Jewish citizens believe that Israeli Arabs are not loyal to the state, compared to 38 percent who think the Arabs were loyal to the state at the beginning of the intifada.

The poll, overseen by Prof. Asher Arian, also finds that Jewish public opinion is Israel has become more extreme on issues of foreign affairs and defense as well as on possible concessions by Israel during peace talks in particular.

A representative sample of 1,264 Jewish residents of Israel were polled for the survey last month in face-to-face interviews.

Israeli-Arabs pose a threat to Israel's security, according to 61 percent of the Jewish population, while around 80 percent are opposed to Israeli-Arabs being involved in important decisions, such as delineating the country's borders, up from 75 percent last year and 67 percent in 2000.

Some 72 percent of Jewish Israelis are opposed to Arab parties being part of a coalition government, compared to 67 percent last year and 50 percent in 1999.

This overall shift to the right has been coupled by a significant fall in support for the Oslo process; down from 58 percent last year, to 35 percent this year. Support for the establishment of a Palestinian state has also dropped from 57 percent last year to 49 percent this year.

Only 40 percent of Jewish Israelis support transfering control of Arab areas of East Jerusalem to the Palestinians as part of a peace agreement, compared with 51 percent last year. There has also been a fall in the number of people willing to leave the settlements as part of an agreement with the Palestinians: 49 percent are in favor of Israel leaving the settlements, apart from large blocs, under a permanent status agreement, compared to 55 percent last year.

Around 41 percent of those polled said that the acts of Palestinian violence have made them less open to compromise, while just 10 percent said that the on-going violence has had the opposite effect.

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