Israel + 1 more

Israeli poll shows rising support for Gaza plan

JERUSALEM, July 1 (Reuters) - Israelis show renewed support for the plan to evacuate the Gaza Strip after turmoil involving ultranationalist opponents of removing settlements, a newspaper poll showed on Friday.

The survey in mass circulation Yedioth Ahronoth said 62 percent favoured Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's plan compared with 53 percent in its poll three weeks ago. Opposition had dropped from 38 to 31 percent.

Other recent polls had shown support for "disengagement" slipping below 50 percent from a peak of more than two-thirds.

But Yedioth said support appeared to have swung sharply away from far-rightists after road-blocking protests and stone-throwing confrontations involving radical Jews, security forces and Palestinians.

Its poll was conducted on Wednesday evening -- the day that opponents of the pullout spread oil and nails on a highway at rush hour to try to jam it and beat a Palestinian unconscious in the Gaza Strip.

A survey in rival Maariv, conducted the day before those events, showed support for the pullout at 54 percent and opposition at 34 percent.

Israel's plan to evacuate all 21 Gaza settlements and four of 120 in the West Bank is set to begin in August -- something U.S.-led mediators hope will revive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

Opponents say the plan gives up their Biblical right to the land and capitulates to an uprising waged by Palestinians since 2000.


Reuters - Thomson Reuters Foundation
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