Almost half of Israelis support expelling Arab minority

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Washington – A study published on Tuesday by a Washington think-tank said almost half of Israeli Jews think that Israel’s Arab minority should be expelled from the country.

The survey carried out by Pew Centre said not less than 48 per cent of all Jews questioned were in support of the statement that “Arabs should be expelled or transferred from Israel.

It said the percentage was as high as 71 per cent among nationalist-religious Jews, while 58 per cent of all secular Jews opposed any expulsion.

“Of Israel’s population of 8.5 million, the majority are Jews, while some 20 per cent are Arabs.

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“Many of the Arab minority prefer to be referred to as Palestinians with Israeli citizenship.

“Most of them are Muslims, while a smaller number are Christians,’’ it said.

The think-tank disclosed that they all expressed skepticism with the chances of reaching a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

It said the survey revealed that 50 per cent of Israel’s Arab minority believe that a way can be found for Israel and an independent Palestinian state to coexist peacefully with each other.

“In 2013, 74 per cent said this was impossible, among Jewish Israelis, 43 per cent believe this is possible.

“Some 40 per cent of all Jewish Israelis do not believe that their government is making a sincere effort to achieve peace.

“88 per cent believe the Palestinian leadership is not making a sincere effort to achieve peace,’’ it said.

The think-tank said among the Israel’s Arab minority, 72 per cent do not believe that the Israeli government is genuinely trying to make peace.

It recalled that the last attempt at peace talks collapsed in April 2014.

It said a new wave of street violence has swept over Israel and the Palestinian areas since early October. (dpa/NAN)

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