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Views of Palestinians give reason for hope in Mideast peace talks

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The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics estimates that more than 6,000 acres on the West Bank were transferred to Israeli control in 2012, and 36,000 new housing units in Israeli settlements were approved. Palestinians live in constant fear that Israeli soldiers can arrest and imprison them for long periods, or cause bodily harm to them or their family members. In a June 2013 survey, 74 percent said they worried that they or family members would be hurt by Israelis or have their land confiscated or homes demolished.

And yet, a majority of Palestinians reject using violence against Israelis. In a recent poll, 59 percent opposed returning to armed intifada, and 61 percent endorsed non-violent resistance and international adjudication. The West Bank population has – at least for the time being – widely adopted a non-violent approach to resisting the Israeli occupation, even as significant minorities continue to justify the use of violent measures.

Perhaps most encouragingly, most Palestinians support the two-state solution – Israel and its Jewish majority living side-by-side in peace with the yet-to-be founded Palestine. Asked about the two-state solution, 53 percent of Palestinians are in favor and 46 percent opposed.

Under conditions of permanent peace, an overwhelming majority of Palestinians endorses genuine and full reconciliation between the two peoples. Even during the worst days of the second intifada, findings consistently showed about three quarters (73 percent) supporting reconciliation between the two peoples once the conflict ended and a Palestinian state established alongside Israel.

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