New survey shows that ordinary Israelis and Palestinians are keen to move forward with the Road Map and are in favour of starting economic cooperation

A new poll of Israelis and Palestinians is released to coincide with the World Economic Forum and Gallup International in advance of the World Economic Forum Extraordinary Annual Meeting which opens today in Jordan and will take place from 21 to 23 June.

Results of the survey show that despite the most recent terrorist attacks and military reprisals, a majority of ordinary Israelis and Palestinians are supportive of joint economic cooperation, and that the two nations are also clearly aware of the chain of peace, economic growth and prosperity.

This special World Economic Forum and Gallup International poll was carried out simultaneously with representative samples of Israelis and Palestinians on the week following the Aqaba Summit (between 8 and 13 June). The poll was conducted by TNS/Teleseker in Israel and by PCPO (Palestine Center for Public Opinion) in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.

Key Survey Findings:

  • Prospects for peace remain optimistic, even though recent events have shown a resurgence of the bloody conflict in the region. About six out of ten of both Israelis (66%) and Palestinians (56%) are in favour of the current renewal of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians on the basis of the roadmap.
  • A clear majority of both Israelis (75%) and Palestinians (68%) believe that both nations have the right to live in peace and security.
  • 51% of the Israelis interviewed and 50% of the Palestinians indicated there will be a viable Palestinian state located next to Israel five years from now (slightly more then those who do not believe it – 45% in both societies).
  • Both sides by a wide margin see the USA as the most influential actor in bringing peace to the region, with political leaders from the area considered a long way behind in influence according to both Israeli and Palestinian opinion.
  • Both Israelis and Palestinians support an open market and joint economic projects between the two nations. A cautious 66% of Israelis and 57% of Palestinians agree that mutual cooperation and joint projects between all nations of the region, including Israelis and Palestinians, in areas such as water, health, environment, tourism, etc., should start as soon as possible, even now before final peace agreements are reached.
  • But, both sides recognize that this is more easily achieved within the context of a peace agreement. Indeed, 72% of Israelis and 69% of Palestinians agree that there can be no real economic growth and prosperity for the Palestinians and the Israelis without a peace settlement between them.
  • There are some differences of opinion on the actual priorities of economic cooperation between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Again, not surprisingly, 77% of Palestinians feel that the free movement of workers between the two sides is of key importance for cooperation, while for Israelis, sensitive to the potential for terrorism in this key point, the corresponding figure is only 57%.
  • However, both sides agree that it is important to move forward on other areas of possible cooperation, such as water desalination and restoration, environmental issues, regional health projects and agriculture issues.

    Q: The following are possible areas of cooperation between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Thinking about each one, please tell us whether you are in favour or against cooperation between the two entities in each area:
    % in Favor

    % in Favor
    Water desalination and restoration
    Regional health projects
    Environmental issues
    Regional tourism
    Agricultural issues
    Regional trade relations
    Communication, technology and hi-tech
    Cultural and sports relations
    Free movement of workers between the two sides

    Technical and Editorial Notes:

    Gallup International, now registered in Zurich, Switzerland, as a verein, was established in 1947 by George H. Gallup and his colleagues. It now has member agencies in 60 countries across the world, regularly conducting market and opinion research in more than 80 countries.

    TNS/Teleseker is the Israeli Member of Gallup International. TNS/Teleseker interviewed 500 Israeli citizens aged 18 and over by telephone, between 10 and 12 June 2003. The sample was selected by random probabilistic procedures from telephone owning households (over 95% of all households) and is weighted by main demographics to be representative of the population of Israel.

    The Palestine Center for Public Opinion interviewed 430 Palestinians from the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem using face-to-face questionnaires, between 9 and 13 June 2003. The sample was quota based by main geographic and demographic parameters to be representative of the Palestinian population.