East Jerusalem choice

By Marcus Dysch, September 15, 2011

One-third of Palestinians in east Jerusalem would rather hold Israeli citizenship than live in a new Palestinian state, according to polling by a former State Department adviser.

David Pollock, who supervised US government studies of public opinion in the Middle East, carried out polls of more than 1,000 people living in Palestinian neighbourhoods in the city.

Speaking in Westminster on Monday at a Henry Jackson Society event on the future of Jerusalem, Dr Pollock said: "Asked to make a choice between living under Israeli jurisdiction or under Palestinian jurisdiction in a new Palestinian state, 35 per cent said they would prefer to live under Israeli law."

He said at least 40 per cent of those polled would prefer to move to a different neighbourhood to remain under Israeli rule and maintain their current healthcare, education and economic standards.

But Dr Pollock, senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said one-third of east Jerusalem Palestinians also felt discriminated against by the Israeli government.

Even if a peace settlement could be agreed, 41 per cent said violent resistance would continue.

Last updated: 1:42pm, September 15 2011