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Third of Americans back bans on Israel over settlements: Poll

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A man works on a roof in Ramat Shlomo, an illegal Israeli settlement in the occupied East al-Quds (Jerusalem), November 17, 2015. ©Reuters

A new survey shows that more than a third of US citizens support punitive measures against Israel over the Tel Aviv regime’s illegal settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories.

According to the poll conducted by the Washington-based Brookings Institution think tank and released on Friday, 37 percent of Americans are in favor of sanctions against Israel while 27 percent prefer economic bans, and 10 back even stricter measures.

The survey of 1,738 people titled “American Attitudes Toward the Middle East and Israel,” also found more support for sanctions against Tel Aviv among Democrat respondents, with 49 percent of them backing the policy.

It also indicated that 31 percent of Americans prefer Washington to oppose the construction of unlawful settler units by adopting an official stance alone, while 27 percent want measures to address the matter.

Meanwhile, the poll showed 37 percent of US nationals believe that Tel Aviv has too much influence on US politics, compared to only 18 percent who describe the influence as too little.

The survey was published three weeks after the European Commission passed new guidelines for mandating the labeling of the products made in the illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian lands.

Palestinians work at a textile factory in the Industrial Park of the illegal Israeli settlement of Barkan, southwest of Nablus, occupied West Bank, November 8, 2015.  ©Reuters

Under the guidelines, Israeli producers must label farm goods and cosmetics that come from the settlements constructed in occupied territories if they are to be sold in EU member states.

The development comes as the international movement of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel has gained momentum in recent years.

The BDS Movement is a global campaign that uses economic and political pressure on Israel in line with the goal of ending the Israeli regime's occupation of Palestinian lands particularly through illegal settlement constructions.

Over half a million Israelis live in over 120 illegal settlements built since Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories in the West Bank and East al-Quds (Jerusalem) in 1967.

Much of the international community regards the Israeli settler units as illegal because the territories were occupied by Israel and are hence subject to the Geneva Conventions, which forbid construction on occupied lands.

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