As many as 54 percent of the Israelis said they believe the Israeli government should withdraw from more territories in the West Bank and to reach peace with the Palestinians, while a bigger majority believed that the unauthorized outposts in the West Bank must be dismantled, a poll conducted by the Israeli Newspaper Yedioth Ahronot showed.
The newspaper said this percentage must turn on the red light for those who warned against the disengagement plan fearing further withdrawals from the West Bank.
The poll said that disengagement did not cause a ‘public shock’ for the Israelis, because according to the poll Israelis many support a political solution and settlement evacuation.
The poll did not cover the major settlement blocs in the West Bank which Israel intends to keep under its control and annex it to its territories under any final agreement with the Palestinians.
68 percent of the sample believes Israel should remove all the unauthorized outposts in the West Bank, totaling around 120.
The poll also investigated the support for the Israeli prime Minster Ariel Sharon within the Likud party.
According to the poll, Sharon has more support among the Israeli public, while his rival, former Minister of Finance, Benjamin Netanyahu beats him inside the Likud party.
42 percent of the Likud members who participated in the poll said they support Netanyahu over Sharon who got only 35 percent, if they compete for the Prime Minister post.
If the what is known in the Likud as the ‘small bang’ happens, meaning that if the Likud party splits, and Sharon quits to form his own party, one third of the Likud members will quit the party with Sharon, the poll said.
In this case, Netanyahu will have 35 percent and Sharon 31 percent.
However, according to the poll, if the ‘big bang’ happens, meaning that if Sharon quits the Likud to form a coalition party with the Labor party leader Shimon Peres and Tommy Lapid, head of Shinui, only 16 percent will vote to Sharon, whereas 50 percent will support Netanyahu.
In general, most Israelis would prefer to have Peres as Prime Minister than Netanyahu if Sharon quits the political life.