Israel Palestine segregation busus Netanyahu
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's election campaign banner is seen on a bus in Jerusalem REUTERS/Ammar Awad

A newly-published poll which examined the attitudes of Israelis has found that just over half of the country's Jews support controversial moves to segregate Palestinians on buses in the West Bank.

A scheme to segregate Palestinians from Jews was introduced in May but Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu scrapped the plan after one day following huge international criticism. Settlers had wanted separate buses citing security fears but even within Israel many called the policy racist and akin to apartheid.

Now, however, a Peace Index poll conducted by the Israel Democracy Institute and Tel Aviv University's Evens Programme in Mediation and Conflict Resolution, found that just over half - 52% - of Israel's Jews supported segregation on West Bank buses. Among Arabs, 70% were opposed.

Israel Settlement
Half of all Israelis told a survey they had not visited a settlement in years - and three quarters would not move to one even if the housing there was cheap and of good quality Reuters

The poll also revealed that most Israelis (75%) would not move to a settlement even if offered good quality housing and almost half had not visited one in the past five years.

However, a clear majority of Jews agreed they would continue to buy goods which originated in the settlements even if a boycott were introduced. A majority of Arabs (59%) said they would buy goods from the settlements in such circumstances.

Asked about how Israel is viewed overseas, 69% said Israel's relations with the rest of the world as a whole weren't good. Only 29% thought they were good.

Almost 60% of Arabs said they felt Israel's relations with the world were good - apparently reflecting a perception among many Arabs that Israel can do no wrong no matter what it does, and a perception among many Jews that Israel is judged by harsher standards than most other countries.

The Peace Index Project was founded in 1994 to conduct monthly polls based on current events in Israel.