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Palestinians favor the two-state solution, support resumption of negotiations under Biden

The poll results show that the Palestinian public overwhelmingly favor the two-state solution (49%) as their most preferred option for ending the conflict, compared to the options of one-state for both Jews and Arabs (9%), and a Palestinian-Israeli confederation (11%). More Gazans (56%) than West Bankers (44%) expressed their support for the two-state solution. Support for the two-state solution has risen since our last survey carried out in June of this year which showed 38% in favor. 

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“The Palestinians see a new window of opportunity for the Middle East Peace Process with the success of Biden and given the announced program of the President-elect,” said Director of the PPC, Nidal Foqaha, “this development has encouraged them to firmly express their view on the preferred solution -- the two-state solution --which they believe to be the only way to put an end to the conflict and bring peace.” 

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More Palestinians believe that the normalization agreements between Israel and the Gulf/Arab States will impede (57%) the resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict than those who consider it to be helpful (11%). Almost a third (30%) think that it will neither benefit nor damage the process. Generally, the trend indicates that Gazans are more optimistic than West Bankers on this matter. Without having yet witnessed the constructive engagement of the normalized states on this issue, it is likely that the Palestinian public opinion will remain skeptical of the potential benefits. 

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A majority of Palestinians (58%) do not believe that Israel will abandon de jure annexation policies as outlined in the Trump Plan, despite the election of Joe Biden to the US presidency. A quarter (25%) think that Israel will abandon annexation in theory, but will continue its de facto annexation on the ground, meanwhile only 13% believe Israel will give up on this policy altogether. 

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More optimistically, a majority (58%) believe that the election of Joe Biden can open the door for the resumption of Palestinian-Israeli negotiations in the framework of a two-state solution, while only 36% expressed their pessimism. Again, Gazans are slightly more hopeful than West Bankers. This is likely the result of Biden’s already stated intention to resume ties with the Palestinian Authority and to reopen diplomatic channels, alongside his longtime public support for a two-state solution, commitment to international law and opposition to settlement expansion.

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At the same time, there is a degree of uncertainty regarding the specific policies a Biden administration is likely to adopt. The Palestinian public is divided in its response: 40% believe Biden’s policies will not differ drastically from those promoted by the Trump administration, while an equal number (40%) think the new administration will change its policies but will not reverse annexationist decisions that have already been implemented such as moving the US embassy to Jerusalem. Only 17% are optimistic that Biden will adopt a totally different set of policies. 

Click here for the full report

The poll was conducted by the Palestinian Peace Coalition (PPC-GI),in partnership with the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PCPSR). It is a representative sample of 1270 adults interviewed face-to-face in 127 randomly selected locations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip between 8-11 December, 2020. The margin of error is +/-3%. 

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To learn about the Geneva Initative's TSI, visit our website, including our elaborative methodology page.

The Two-State Index (TSI) is brought to you by the Geneva Initiative, a Palestinian-Israeli organization working to promote a negotiated peace agreement in the spirit of the two-state vision. The TSI is produced by an Israeli-Palestinian team, and reflects a unique bilateral perspective.

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This publication was produced with the financial support of the European Union. Its contents are the sole responsibility of the Geneva Initiative’s Two-State Index (TSI) editorial team and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.

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