The controversial recognition by US President Donald Trump of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel caused a sharp rise in Palestinian support for the armed struggle, according to a poll released Thursday.
The proportion of Palestinians declaring themselves in favor of armed struggle has almost doubled compared to a survey conducted six months ago. At the same time, support for the two-state solution is declining among Palestinians, according to the poll by Israelis and Palestinians.
The authors of this opinion poll say they interviewed 1270 Palestinians living in East Jerusalem, the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip, just after Donald Trump’s declaration on 6 December on the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Israel sees the whole of Jerusalem as its capital while the Palestinians want to make East Jerusalem, occupied and annexed by Israel, the capital of the state to which they aspire.
When asked about their favorite option for Israeli-Palestinian relations, 38.4% said they favor the “armed struggle”, while only 26.2% support the search for a peace agreement.
In the survey published in June 2017, 21% of respondents supported the armed struggle and 45% said they wanted to restart the peace process.
According to Khalil Shikaki of the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research and one of the poll leaders, this change is a consequence of the US president’s statement.
“There is absolutely no doubt that Trump’s statement is the root cause,” he told a news conference.
Dahlia Scheindlin of Tel Aviv University’s Tami Steinmetz Center, co-author of the survey’s findings, said she expects support for the armed struggle to decrease in the coming months. if the tension on the ground declined.