Skip to main content

Poll: Most Israeli Jews support annexing parts of West Bank

The poll for April from the Israel Democracy Institute found differing opinions between the left and right and Jewish and Arab Israelis.
A Jewish shepherd wears a prayer shawl as he stands near houses in the Israeli settlement of Mitzpe Yericho in the Jordan Valley in the Israeli-occupied West Bank January 27, 2020. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun - RC2COE9DADQT

A majority of Israeli Jews back annexing parts of the West Bank, according to an Israeli research center.

An April survey released Sunday by the Israel Democracy Institute found 52% of Israeli Jews support applying Israeli sovereignty over parts of the Palestinian territory of the West Bank. Only 9% of Israeli Arabs, also known as Palestinian citizens of Israel, supported the territory’s annexation. 

Most countries consider the West Bank to be a Palestinian territory occupied by Israel. Israel seized control of the majority Palestinian area from Jordan during the 1967 war. Since then, Israel has built more than 100 settlements for Jewish citizens there, which most countries — but not the United States — consider illegal. Parts of the territory are directly ruled by Israel, while others are controlled by the Palestinian Authority.

Political momentum toward annexation has gained traction in Israel recently due to possible US support. Last week, US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said the United States would recognize a partial annexation under certain conditions. The same day, Israel announced plans to build new settlements in the West Bank. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will visit Israel on Wednesday when the country’s new unity government is sworn in and discuss annexation.

The Israel Democracy Institute’s poll shows wide variance on the issue between the Israeli right and left. The poll found 71% of Israeli Jews identifying with the political right support annexation, while only 31% from the political center and 8% from the left do.

Only 33% of Jews and 25% of Arabs think such an annexation will happen this year, the institute said.

West Bank annexation raises questions on how Palestinians in the West Bank, the majority of whom are not Israeli citizens, would be treated legally in such a scenario. The poll found Jewish and Arab Israelis differed on this. For Jews, only 20% support giving Palestinians there Israeli citizenship and 37% do not want to give such Palestinians more rights than they have at present. For Arabs, 47% supported giving Palestinians in the West Bank Israeli citizenship and only 9% did not want to give them additional rights, according to the poll.

Annexing the territory in the Jordan River Valley has been a long-standing Israeli security goal. Palestinians envision the West Bank as part of a future independent state of Palestine, but many Israeli say this would make its border too narrow and thus indefensible. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took a strong step toward promising annexation in September when running for reelection.

The new Israeli unity government of Netanyahu and former rival Benny Gantz has led to criticism from Palestinian and international actors who fear annexation is receiving political legitimization. A group of European Union ambassadors warned against annexation late last month. The Arab League called it a “war crime” at the same time.

Join hundreds of Middle East professionals with Al-Monitor PRO.

Business and policy professionals use PRO to monitor the regional economy and improve their reports, memos and presentations. Try it for free and cancel anytime.


The Middle East's Best Newsletters

Join over 50,000 readers who access our journalists dedicated newsletters, covering the top political, security, business and tech issues across the region each week.
Delivered straight to your inbox.


What's included:
Our Expertise

Free newsletters available:

  • The Takeaway & Week in Review
  • Middle East Minute (AM)
  • Daily Briefing (PM)
  • Business & Tech Briefing
  • Security Briefing
  • Gulf Briefing
  • Israel Briefing
  • Palestine Briefing
  • Turkey Briefing
  • Iraq Briefing

Premium Membership

Join the Middle East's most notable experts for premium memos, trend reports, live video Q&A, and intimate in-person events, each detailing exclusive insights on business and geopolitical trends shaping the region.

$25.00 / month
billed annually

Become Member Start with 1-week free trial

We also offer team plans. Please send an email to and we'll onboard your team.

What's included:
Our Expertise AI-driven

Memos - premium analytical writing: actionable insights on markets and geopolitics.

Live Video Q&A - Hear from our top journalists and regional experts.

Special Events - Intimate in-person events with business & political VIPs.

Trend Reports - Deep dive analysis on market updates.

All premium Industry Newsletters - Monitor the Middle East's most important industries. Prioritize your target industries for weekly review:

  • Capital Markets & Private Equity
  • Venture Capital & Startups
  • Green Energy
  • Supply Chain
  • Sustainable Development
  • Leading Edge Technology
  • Oil & Gas
  • Real Estate & Construction
  • Banking

Start your PRO membership today.

Join the Middle East's top business and policy professionals to access exclusive PRO insights today.

Join Al-Monitor PRO Start with 1-week free trial