Poll: 66% of Israelis oppose Palestinian state in W. Bank

Updated 21 December 2012
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Poll: 66% of Israelis oppose Palestinian state in W. Bank

JERUSALEM: Two-thirds of Israelis are opposed to the establishment of a demilitarizsed Palestinian state in the West Bank, a poll showed yesterday.
According to the results of a Maagar Mohot survey published in Maariv newspaper, when asked if they would support the establishment of such a state, 66 percent said they would not, while 11 percent said they would.
The poll, which questioned 511 people between Dec. 19-20, has a margin of error of 4.5 percent.
Just over half — or 51 percent — said they would support building new settler homes in a highly sensitive area of the West Bank called E1, which lies between annexed east Jerusalem and the nearby Maaleh Adumim settlement.
Only nine percent said they were against such a move. The remaining 40 percent were undecided.
Three weeks ago, Israel said it was planning to build thousands of settler homes there, sparking a major diplomatic backlash, with experts saying it could cause severe harm to the contiguity of a future Palestinian state.
With less than five weeks until general elections on Jan. 22, the poll found steady support for the rightwing nationalist Likud-Beitenu list headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which was seen taking 37 of the 120 seats in parliament, down one from last week’s survey.
The center-left Labour held steady at 20 seats, while the nationalist pro-settler Jewish Home rose one to 12 seats.
The ultra-Orthodox Shas lost one seat to stand at 11, while the opposition Kadima — currently the largest party in parliament with 28 seats — was seen taking just one seat, reflecting multiple surveys which have said the party would be all but wiped out.
The center-right HaTnuah party of former foreign minister Tzipi Livni was flat at nine seats, while the centrist Yesh Atid was seen shedding one seat to hold at eight.
Overall, the poll saw the bloc of rightwing and ultra-Orthodox parties taking 69 seats, compared with 41 for the center-left.


Iran arrests culture ministry official over public dance

Updated 19 April 2018
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Iran arrests culture ministry official over public dance

  • Iran arrested a senior official after a video posted online showed young boys and girls dancing in public in the northeastern holy city of Mashhad
  • The video shared on social networks showed young boys and girls dancing in a shopping mall, where a singer was performing for a huge crowd

TEHRAN: Iran on Thursday arrested a senior official after a video posted online showed young boys and girls dancing in public in the northeastern holy city of Mashhad, the judiciary said.
“The head of the ministry of culture and Islamic guidance in Mashhad was arrested for undermining public decency and disrespecting the laws,” the judiciary’s Mizan Online news agency said quoting a deputy prosecutor.
Islamic law in Iran prohibits public dancing.
The video shared on social networks showed young boys and girls dancing in a shopping mall, where a singer was performing for a huge crowd. The event took place on Tuesday.
Mohsen Afshar, a spokesman for the shopping center, told the ISNA news agency that a monthly draw is organized and a car given away to the lucky winner to attract customers.
According to Afshar the singer had the necessary “official permits to perform.”
The performance can attract 10,000-12,000 people, he said, including “some individuals whose behavior is contrary to the norms of the Islamic republic.”
But Heydari told Tasnim news agency that the mall was not authorized to organize such events.
Mashhad is a holy and conservative city where in 2016 concerts were banned by the Friday prayer leader, Ayatollah Ahmad Allamolhoda, who also told music-lovers to “Go somewhere else.”
Thursday’s arrest comes days after Tehran’s reformist mayor, Mohammad Ali Najafi, resigned after claims he was threatened with arrest.
Najafi had attracted criticism from hard-liners last month after attending in March a show at City Hall for Iranian Women’s Day in which schoolgirls performed a traditional dance.