Poll Shows 44% of Israelis Want to Annex West Bank

A poll published on Friday by the Israeli right-wing Makor Rishon suggests that 44 per cent of Israelis accept the gradual imposition of Israeli law in the occupied West Bank, while 38 per cent object, Arab48.com has reported. Jews and Arabs took part in the poll, said the religious newspaper, which was representative of the Israeli public at large.

Observers have pointed out that the imposition of Israeli law means the effective annexation of the occupied territories where the change is made. This is already the case in occupied East Jerusalem and the Syrian Golan Heights and is contrary to international law.

The same poll showed that 47 per cent of the Israelis object to the imposition of Israeli law on Area C, which is under Israeli security and administrative control based on the Oslo Agreements. This area covers more than 60 per cent of the West Bank. Only around 34 per cent of those polled accepted this. A slightly higher number, around 37 per cent, accepted the imposition of Israeli law only on the settlements in the occupied West Bank (which are also illegal under international law), whereas 47 per cent objected.

Amongst the Haridim, the most religious Jews in Israel, the poll showed that 61 per cent accept the imposition of Israeli law on all of the occupied West Bank. This is also true of 60 per cent of Israeli youth.

About 69 per cent of those polled who identified themselves as right wingers would accept gradual annexation, as would 18 per cent of those who self-identified as leftists.

(MEMO)

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