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Palestinians Want UN Recognition If Talks Fail, Poll Shows

Most Palestinians support asking the United Nations Security Council to recognize an independent state if peace talks fail, while two out of five favor an armed uprising against Israel, a poll showed.

Asked to respond “yes” or “no” to a range of options, 69 percent endorsed seeking Security Council recognition, while 54 percent favored the unilateral declaration of a state. The Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in the West Bank city of Ramallah interviewed 1,270 Palestinians for the poll, published today.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas says he will not participate in further U.S.-mediated peace talks, which started in September, unless Israel stops building in West Bank settlements. The Palestine Liberation Organization is considering alternatives if the talks fail. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he may halt construction for two months if Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state, which they have refused to do.

“The poll found a preference among Palestinians for seeking UN recognition over resorting to violence,” Yaakov Shamir, a Truman researcher, said in a telephone interview.

The survey showed 51 percent of Palestinians supported a campaign of non-violent resistance against Israel while 41 percent would reactivate the “intifada,” or armed uprising. In a separate survey of Israelis, 63 percent said they fear the Palestinians will resume the intifada, while 42 percent said they would stick to non-violence.

The pollsters interviewed Palestinians face-to-face in the West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, and that survey had a margin of error of 3 percentage points, according to an e-mailed statement. The Israeli sample included 610 adults interviewed by phone in Hebrew, Arabic or Russian, and had a margin of error of 4 percentage points.

The study was carried out between Sept. 30 and October 7. Israel ended a 10-month freeze on construction in West Bank settlements on Sept. 26.

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