JERUSALEM, Israel - A new poll released Friday shows that a majority of Israelis believe that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should resist U.S. demands that Israel stop all construction in Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank).
Netanyahu met with members of his governing coalition Friday in advance of his major address on Sunday concerning Israel's plans for the settlements and his government's stand on the question of a Palestinian state.
The survey, conducted by the Maagar Mahot polling Institute, revealed that only 37 percent of Israelis believe the government should comply with Washington's insistence that Israel stop all building in lands the U.S. says should be reserved for a Palestinian state.
Half of those surveyed said Israel's refusal to comply would not lead to a major confrontation with the U.S., and 36 percent said Israel should not evacuate any settlements as part of a peace agreement.
Many members of Netanyahu's government have been concerned that the prime minister would call for a two-state solution with the Palestinans during his speech Sunday, something he has so far resisted.
But one Zionist member of the coalition, Zevulon Orlev of the Habayet Hayehudi party, said he was "greatly relieved" after talking with Netanyahu Friday.
Sources: The Jerusalem Post, Ha'aretz