This is the eighth public opinion poll conducted by the Survey Research Unit (SRU) at the Center for Palestine Research and Studies. This poll focuses on elections and the participation of women in elections, issues of Israeli settlements, and Palestinian refugees. SRU conducts a monthly public opinion poll to document an important phase in the history of the Palestinian people and to record the reactions of the Palestinian community on current political events. CPRS does not adopt political positions and does not tolerate attempts to influence the conclusions reached or published for political motives. CPRS is committed to providing a scholarly contribution to analysis and objective study and to publishing the results of all our studies and research. The poll results are published independently and with unit analysis in both Arabic and English. They provide a vital resource for the community and for researchers needing statistical information and analysis. The polls give members of the community opportunity to voice their opinions and to seek to influence decision makers on issues of concern to them.
Enclosed are the results of the most recent public opinion poll that has been conducted in the West Bank (including Arab Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip.
This poll was conducted on Tuesday, April 19, 1994, following a month of political events on all levels. Some of these events are described below.
-There was contradictory information about progress in the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations. On the one hand, an agreement was reached at the end of March in Cairo calling for speeding up the pace of the negotiations. Later on, Yassir Abed Rabo said that the negotiations had reached a dead end. At the same time, other members of the Palestinian and Israeli delegations were talking about progress in the negotiations and expected agreement to be reached soon. Despite the postponement of the implementation of the DoP, some Israeli military and police forces were withdrawn from Gaza and Jericho and a group of fifty Palestinian deportees returned on the 5th of April. There were also some announcements that the Palestinian police were about to arrive and some officers did indeed arrive.
-Hamas claimed responsibility for a number of military attacks against Israeli targets inside the Green Line. The first occurred on April 6, and resulted in the death of eight Israelis and the wounding of several others. Following this incident, the Israeli authorities tightened the closure on the Occupied Territories, beginning the 8th of April, where no Palestinian workers were allowed to go to work inside Israel. This restriction caused further harm to the already deteriorating economic situation of the Occupied Territories, especially among the working class. In spite of the closure, a supporter of Hamas bombed an Israeli bus near Hadera, killing six Israelis. Occupation authorities had already begun a massive arrest campaign against activists and supporters of Hamas and Islamic Jihad. The Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin, warned the Jordanian government not to continue granting refuge to Hamas, which the Jordanians denied having done.
-On the level of Palestinian internal affairs, there was talk about coordination beginning between Hamas and Fateh. Different Palestinian factions, especially Hamas, called for dialogue, national unity, and democratic means for resolving internal differences. At the same time, the number of martyrs and Palestinians injured at the hands of the Israeli army and settlers increased. Among the martyrs was Mrs. Fatima Abdullah who was killed in her home and who was the mother of one and three months pregnant at the time. Furthermore, the house of Mr. Mohammad al-Wahaidi, a leader of Fateh, was destroyed by the army. Mr. al-Wahaidi is the father of Abeer al-Wahaidi who was sentenced to 19 years in prison for charges of armed resistance against the occupation.
-One of the important events in that period, especially in the Hebron area, was the visit of Reverend Jesse Jackson to the Occupied Territories.
This is a summary of many of the events that occurred during the month preceding the poll that are believed to have had certain influence on general Palestinian opinion in the Occupied Territories.
In order to identify political positions throughout the Occupied Territories and to improve the credibility of the sample, the West Bank was divided into eight polling areas (Nablus, Tulkarm, Jenin, Jericho, Ramallah, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and Hebron) which were in turn divided into eighteen polling, "electoral," districts. Gaza was divided into three polling areas (North, Middle, and South) and further divided into seven polling, "electoral," districts. (For details on electoral and polling districts, see appendix # 2 and for further information, please call CPRS.) The sample that we attained through this division enabled us to understand political positions and voting patterns in :
We received 2006 responses from the West Bank and Gaza, of which 1311 are from the West Bank and 695 are from Gaza. Despite the limitations of the division utilized, it plays a great role in helping officials to establish norms for a future independent Palestinian electoral system that takes into consideration information presented in this poll.
- The Occupied Territories as a whole (West Bank and Gaza)
- The West Bank and Gaza separately
- Polling areas separately
- Polling districts separately
(expressed as a % of the total sample)
* Employees: Schoolteacher, Government Employee, Nurse, Lower-level Company Employee, Secretary, etc.
Area of Residence West Bank "including Jerusalem"
Age Sex Education 18-24
Up to 9 years (elem./prep)
Up to 12 years (Tawjihi)
2 year College
MA + Phd.
Marital Status Refugee Status Occupation Single
Divorced & Widowed
** Specialists: University Teacher, Engineer, Doctor, Lawyer, Pharmacist, Executive, etc.
During the the data collection process, the choice of interview stations was based on our previous experience in the last seven polls. To ensure the representation of Palestinians in all districts, the focus was on areas that attracted villagers and refugee camp residents. Data collectors carried with them an exhaustive list of villages and refugee camps in each district. This allowed them to reach their target sample as efficiently as possible, except for in the Ramallah area. Here, fifty percent of the interviews were conducted in villages and camps because of the difficulty of obtaining a representative sample through the normal procedure of interviews in the city itself. This method was used here as an experiment for means to further the development of the research process in the future.
In the Gaza Strip, field workers visited almost all towns, villages, and refugee camps (as indicated in Appendix 2). Here, around 50% of the interviews were conducted in households to ensure the representation of women. The rest of the interviews were conducted in public places.
The majority of our data collectors have participated in a number of workshops where the goals of the poll were discussed. They were also lectured on sampling techniques, survey methods, scientific research, and field work. Data collectors worked in groups supervised by qualified researchers. CPRS researchers made random visits to interview stations and discussed the research process with data collectors. More than fifty percent of our data collectors were female so as to ensure the representation of women in the sample. All interviews took place on the same day and were conducted on a face-to-face basis. Data collectors were assigned a limited number of interviews (an average of 35) to allow for careful interviewing.In general, the public forum of interviews contributed to a 10% non-response rate which was not included in the sample. A large number of non-respondents were women, probably due to cultural constraints. Some nonrespondents, we believe, are reluctant to state their political affiliation out of fear or ambivalence.
Researchers were instructed to refrain from the following:
Data were processed through the use of SPSS, a computer package that is able to detect illogical answers and other inconsistencies. The margin of error for this poll is less than 3%, and the confidence level is higher than 95%.
- Conducting interviews in public institutions such as trade unions, offices of political parties, women and student organizations, government offices, etc.
- Interviewing their acquaintances and giving questionnaires to a group of acquaintances.
- Conducting multiple interviews at the same time.
- Interfering with the respondents' answers even if they seemed "illogical." If asked to explain a vague item, they must refer to a standard definition provided to them by CPRS. Otherwise, they must leave it up to the respondent to interpret the ambiguity.
It is clear from the results of this poll that there is overwhelming support for elections as a democratic means to choose representatives of the Palestinian people. This is also true for executive bodies like municipal councils.
Elections for the Palestinian Interim Self-Governing Authority (PISGA) Council
Palestinians were asked about their preferences for the best means to select the members of the Palestinian Interim Self-Governing Authority (PISGA) Council. The results were consistent with the findings of our previous polls with 72.1% of Palestinians choosing general political elections and 25% of Palestinians accepting the principle of appointment of the members of this council by PLO leadership or by the major factions on a quota basis. In spite of general similarities between the West Bank and Gaza on this question, there are some noteworthy differences. The results indicate the following:
-Support for elections in the West Bank (74.8%) is higher than in the Gaza Strip (68.7%), whereas support for appointment in the West Bank (23.2%) is less than in the Gaza Strip (29.8%). The perception of this concept in the Gaza Strip has changed over time. The closer the implementation of the agreement is in Gaza, support for elections decreases and support for appointment by the PLO increases, which could indicate an increase in trust of PLO leadership. As for participation in election of the PISGA Council, a decisive majority (72.5%) of Palestinians in the Occupied Territories show eagerness to participate. If those who intend to participate actually do so, we can compare this rate with recent participation rates in elections in other countries. For instance, recent statistics show that the percent of the voting age population actually voting in the U.S. was 55.24%, in Costa Rica was 71.74%, and in Israel was 77.38%. (CPRS is indebted to the International Republican Institute in Washington for providing the figures.)
Here too, we notice differences between the West Bank and Gaza. The willingness to participate in general political elections is higher in the West Bank (74.2%) than in Gaza (69.3%). We also find that the percentage of respondents in Gaza expressing their desire to take part in elections is increasing. (See Figure 1) This percentage was 60.1 in October 1993. It appears as though the closer the election date gets, a larger percentage of Gazans find it necessary to participate.
The difference in the support for elections between Gaza and the West Bank can be attributed to a higher percentage of opposition supporters in Gaza, some of whom refuse to participate in elections emerging from an agreement that they refuse to recognize. The difference between the West Bank and Gaza can also result from sample distribution, for the percentage of women in the Gaza sample (43.3%) is higher than in the West Bank (33.9%). It is apparent that women were less enthusiastic than men to support elections and more inclined to support appointments (to be discussed further in the section related to women's participation).
-The age group least willing to participate in the elections was the 18-24 group, with 67.8% of them expressing intention to participate. The 32-38 age group was the most willing to participate in the elections, with 77.1% of them expressing intention to participate. (See Table I) With regard to the 18-24 group, previous opinion polls showed that they are more supportive of opposition groups. The members of this age group have doubts about the likelihood of personal benefits from participation in elections.
Participation in Election by Age
Age Groups Will Participate % Will not Not Sure % Participate % 18-24 67.8 15.7 16.5 25-31 74.6 14.1 11.3 32-38 77.1 10.8 12.1 39-45 71.8 13.6 14.6 46-52 76.2 11.4 12.4 Over 52 73.2 9.3 17.5
-There is a direct relationship between educational attainment and willingness to participate in elections, that ranges from a high of 90.9% of those with higher degrees to a low of 69.7% of those with an educational attainment of nine years or less. The lower rate in the 18-24 age group may also be a function of fewer of them having yet attained higher degrees.
Participation in Election by Education
Education Will Participate % Will not Not Sure % Participate % Up to 9 Years 69.7 15.1 15.2 Up to 12 Years 72.1 13.8 14.1 2 Year College 73.3 14.7 12.0 Bachelor's 76.7 13.3 10.0 MA & PHD 90.9 4.5 4.6
-With regard to residency, the residents of cities are most willing to participate in elections (74.1%) , followed by villagers (72.4%) and refugee camp residents (69.7%).
Participation in Election by Place of Residence
Will Participate % Will not Not Sure % Participate % City/Town 74.1 12.8 13.1 Village 72.4 13.8 13.8 R. Camp 69.7 17.0 13.3
-In terms of political affiliation, those supporting appointments and the DoP are most willing to participate in elections (Fateh 91% and Feda 87.2%). A total of 81.1% of Hizb el-Sha'b supporters and 77% of nationalist independents want to participate. The least support for participation in elections is among Islamic independents (52%) and the opposition groups (an average of 60%).
Participation in Election by Political Affiliation
Will Participate % Will not Not Sure Participate % PFLP 60.8 26.9 12.3 Feda 87.2 5.1 7.7 Hamas 60.5 23.6 15.9 DFLP 65.5 20.7 13.8 Fateh 91.0 1.9 7.1 I. Jihad 58.8 23.5 17.7 Hizb el-Sha'b 81.1 10.8 8.1 Isl. Independents 52.2 15.9 31.9 Nat. Independents 77.7 5.6 1.7 Others 67.6 11.8 20.6 No One 45.1 45.5 9.5
There is some controversy regarding the future of municipal councils in the Occupied Territories. Palestinians in the West Bank elected municipal councils in 1976 but these councils were suspended by the Israeli authorities in 1982. The controversy intensified after the appointment of Mr. Mansur Shawa as mayor of Gaza City recently. Mr. Shawa was asked by the leadership of the PLO to form a municipal council in the city. At the same time, the previously elected deputy mayor of Hebron, Mr. Mustafa Abd el-Nebi el-Natsheh, was appointed to form a new municipal council in the city. These steps led to a division of opinion among Palestinians in the Occupied Territories where some felt that the situation should stay as is while others wanted the PLO to appoint city councils and yet others demanded elections.
In this regard, the poll shows that 71.2% of Palestinians supported new elections to select the members of city councils. Another 12.8% preferred a temporary return of the previously elected councils followed by new elections. Support for appointments by Palestinian authority is less than 9.8%, while support for reinstating the previously elected councils is only 5.2%. These figures might be an indication of how Palestinians feel about the present appointments in Gaza and Hebron.
In this respect, it is necessary to make a number of comments.
- There are similar views in Gaza and the West Bank regarding this issue.
- In the city of Hebron, 7.6% of the residents declared that they support appointments to the city council by the Palestinian authority. As to reinstating previously elected councils 6.1% supported the idea. In contrast, 76.5% of Hebron residents preferred new elections and 17.4% of them supported a temporary return of the previously elected councils immediately followed by elections. As we will discuss below, support for Hamas and Fateh in Hebron is very close.
- In the city of Gaza, 68.8% supported new elections for city councils. In addition, 12% supported temporary return. With regard to appointments, only 14.3% of the residents supported the idea and only 4.5% supported the reinstatement of suspended councils.
- It was noticeable that the least support for the reinstatement of suspended councils is in the city of Ramallah (1%) and the city of Nablus (1.2%), while the highest support for this idea exists in Jericho (23.7%).
The Participation of Women in Elections
How do Palestinian women perceive elections? To what extent do Palestinians approve of the participation of women in elections? Are there any significant differences between men and women in regard to political affiliation and attitudes towards elections (gender gap)? If so, can we ascertain whether these differences stem from political or economic factors? To address these questions, Palestinians were polled regarding their opinions on participation in elections in general, the right of women to vote, and willingness to vote for a female candidate.
Gender and Views of Palestinian Elections
The majority of Palestinian women surveyed declare their support for a general political election to select the members of the PISGA Council. However, their support for elections (67.1%) is less than that of men surveyed (75.9%). At the same time, there are more women supporting appointments by the PLO or political factions (31%) than men (22.3%). This difference in attitudes becomes even clearer when looking at political participation where 68.9% of women surveyed declared their intention to participate in the election for PISGA compared with 74.4% of men. These differences can be considered from a number of angles:
It is interesting to find that there is an inverse relationship between educational attainment and attitude towards willingness to participate in elections among women in Gaza, where we find that the most educated women are least willing to participate in elections for PISGA. This is partly due to the fact that there is an inverse relationship between education and affiliation with Fateh (supportive of participation).
- Attitude towards election whether among men or women is correlated with political affiliation. Therefore, we find that women voting for Fateh and Feda are more supportive of appointments than women voting for the opposition groups. Furthermore, they are more willing to participate in elections for PISGA than women supporting the opposition. Despite these consistencies with the overall sample, women are still different from men regardless of political affiliation. For example, we find that women voting for Fateh support appointments (48.8%) more than the male supporters of Fateh (29.6%), women voting for Hamas support appointments (25.4%) more than their male counterparts (12.5%), and women voting for PFLP support appointments (25%) more than male PFLP supporters (20.8%). These totals further clarify the previously mentioned difference between women and men regarding support for appointments. This difference obviously cannot be accounted for through political affiliation alone so there must be other factors that make a difference between the genders.
- Education is probably the most important factor. As previously mentioned, there is a direct correlation between education and support for elections. If we examine the sample we find that 16.5% of women surveyed have obtained a university degree, compared with 22.6% of the men (a difference of 6.1%) and this may explain some of the difference between women and men with regard to support for elections. The importance of education can also be seen if we compare West Bank women with Gaza women where we find that West Bank women are more supportive of elections than women in the Gaza Strip. At the same time, we find that the percentage of West Bank women respondents holding a university degree is 19.5% compared with 11.1% in Gaza. Education is clearly correlated with attitude towards election among Gaza women. We find that 86.6% of Gaza women holding a bachelor's degree support elections and only 9.5% of them support appointments. The least educated women in Gaza are most supportive of appointments (42.6%).
3. There are also economic factors which may account for the differences between men and women. The relatively higher economic status of men in Palestinian society and their higher expectations of economic improvement as a result of the implementation of the DoP make them more interested in political participation through voting in elections for PISGA. In the September 1993 poll, 69% of men indicated that they expected economic improvement as a result of the DoP as compared with 60% of the women.
The Right of Women to Vote and Willingness to Vote for a Female Candidate
Palestinian women have actually participated in the 1976 municipal elections and other institutional elections. The present poll shows that the majority of Palestinians (79.4%) agree that women have the right vote. At the same time, 63.1% of the respondents showed a willingness to vote for a woman candidate who is competent. In contrast, 21% said that they will not vote for a woman because "a man is probably more qualified." Another 10.7% said that they don't support women running for elections.
These views are influenced by the socio-economic background of individuals, where we find the following:
- There is a difference between women and men in terms of their views of women's political rights. A total of 85.6% of female respondents declared that women should have the right to vote compared with 75.9% of the male respondents.
Right of Women to Vote by Gender
Yes % No % Not Sure % Female 85.6 8.3 6.1 Male 75.9 18.2 5.9
Furthermore, 70.9% of the women surveyed indicated their willingness to vote for a qualified woman if she were to run for elections. In comparison, 58.5% of the men surveyed indicated that they will consider a qualified female candidate.
Willingness to Vote for a Female Candidate by Gender
Yes, if No, Men are No, don't Not Sure % Competent % more support women Qualified % running for election % Female 70.9 16.2 7.4 5.5 Male 58.5 23.9 12.6 5.0
The widest support for the right of women to vote is among West Bank women (89.5%), followed by Gaza women (79.6%), West Bank men, and Gaza men. This quad-polar division that is based on gender and region is further emphasized when we consider the views regarding female candidates. The poll showed that West Bank women are most willing to vote for a female candidate (76.2%), compared with 63.2% of the women in Gaza, who are followed by West Bank men (61%) and Gaza men (53%).
2. In general, there is an inverse relation between age and attitude towards women participating in elections. The younger groups, more than older ones, are more apt to accept the right of women to vote. A total of 81.5% of individuals between the ages of 18 and 24 approve of the right of women to vote, compared with 69% among Palestinians over the age of 53.
Right of Women to Vote by Age
Age Groups Yes % No % Not Sure % 18-24 81.5 14.2 4.3 25-31 81.0 13.7 5.3 32-38 82.7 12.9 4.4 39-45 72.2 20.0 7.8 46-52 71.7 17.9 10.4 Over 52 69.0 14.0 17.0
The young are also more willing to consider a female candidate if she were to run for election. A total of 66.2% of the youngest group in the sample (18-24 years) indicated that they will consider a female candidate, compared with 53.5% of those over 53 years old.
The inverse relation between age and attitude toward the political participation of women does not apply to Gaza. Here, we find a direct relation where the older seem to be more willing to support the rights of women. The respondents least supportive of the right of women to vote and least willing to vote for a female candidate are Gazans between the ages of 18 and 24. This may be due to a larger presence of political Islam among this age group and the fact that 70% of the respondents from this age group in Gaza have an educational level of twelve years or less.
3. There is a direct relation between education and attitudes towards political rights for women. Here, we also find a difference between the West Bank and Gaza. The results of the poll show that 89.4% of West Bank respondents who are university graduates approve of the right of women to vote, compared with 83.6% among Gaza respondents who are university graduates.
Right of Women to Vote by Education
Yes % No % Not Sure % Up to 9 Yrs. 71.1 20.3 8.6 Bet. 10 to 12 Yrs. 79.4 15.7 4.9 Two-Yr. Coll. 88.6 8.2 3.2 Bachelor's 87.5 9.4 3.1 MA & PHD 100 ------ ------
In addition, 73.6% of West Bank respondents who are graduates of two-year colleges are willing to vote for a female candidate, compared with 60.8% among Gazans with similar educational attainment. Support for political rights of women in Gaza is highest among educated women.
Willingness to Vote for a Female Candidate by Education
Yes, if No, Men are more No, Women don't Not Sure Competent % Qualified % have Right% % Up to 9 Yrs. 52.9 25.7 13.8 7.6 Bet. 10 to 12 Yrs. 65.6 20.0 11.1 3.3 Two-Yr. Coll. 67.6 19.0 9.5 3.9 Bachelor's 72.3 17.7 6.6 3.4 MA & PHD 100 ------ ------- ------
4. Professionals and employees are the most supportive of women's political rights among all other groups. In contrast, the least supportive groups are farmers, laborers, and craftsmen. Support for women's political rights among housewives does not exceed the average for the general population. This may be connected to a relatively lower education.
5. Supporters of nationalist and secular political groups are most sympathetic with the right of women to vote than supporters of Islamic political groups. For example, 49.3% of the supporters of Islamic Jihad approve of the right of women to vote.
Hizb el-Sha'b supporters are most willing to vote for a female candidate, followed by the supporters of DFLP, PFLP, Feda, Fateh, and nationalist independents. We also find that the least willingness to vote for a woman is among Islamic independents, followed by Islamic Jihad and Hamas supporters.
6. The results indicate that refugee camp residents are more supportive of women's right to vote (82.7%) than villagers (77.9%). The most support for this right can be found in West Bank camps followed by Gaza camps. The least support is, however, in Gaza villages. (See Figure 4)
Furthermore, it was clear that West Bank refugee camp residents are most willing to consider a female candidate in elections. They are followed by West Bank city residents, Gaza camp residents, and residents of Gaza's cities and villages.
7. In general, support for women's political rights is higher in the West Bank than in Gaza. A total of 81% of West Bank respondents supported the right of women to vote, and 66.1% showed willingness to vote for a female candidate. In comparison, 76.3% of the Gaza sample indicated that they support the right of women to vote, and 57.7% will consider a female candidate.
In conclusion, Palestinian women considering running for elections will face the refusal of 38.3% of Gazans and 28.4% of West Bankers to elect a female candidate either because of a belief that a man is probably more qualified or lack of support for women running for election on principle. This brings to question the issue of the representation of women in future Palestinian legislative bodies such as PISGA. This concern is even more serious than the poll results indicate because some of those who declared a willingness to consider a female candidate in theory might have a different definition of competence for men and women, and might expect more of female candidates than male candidates. This competence double standard is not unique to Palestine and occurs in other countries such as the United States. And while the results show a majority support for women candidates, we should not be overly optimistic because some of the respondents might be considering only "exceptional" women such as Mrs. Hanan Ashrawi, and are not necessarily showing support for the participation of all women in political life.
The traumatic events of last month did not leave any significant marks on Palestinian political affiliation. Support for Fateh (37.8%) has slightly increased from last month (36.4%). Fateh support was less than 40% in the following areas: Gaza Middle, Gaza South, Jerusalem, Ramallah, and Hebron.
The popularity of Hamas was not influenced by its armed attacks against Israeli targets. Hamas support stayed at 15.9%. The strongest support for Hamas is in Hebron where it gained 23.6% of the vote compared with 26% for Fateh. Significant support (more than 20%) for Hamas can also be found in Jenin, Jericho, and Gaza North.
Political Affiliation by Place of Residence
PFLP % Feda % Hamas % DFLP % Fateh I. Hizb Is Nat'l Others No % Jihad % el-Sh Inds Inds. % one % a'b % %. % Nablus 5.2 1.9 15.6 0.5 44.5 2.8 0.9 1.4 7.6 1.9 17.7 Tulkarm 6.5 0.6 15.6 3.2 41.6 1.9 1.9 4.5 5.8 3.3 15.1 Jenin 4.4 2.5 18.8 0.6 41.3 3.1 0.6 3.1 7.5 4.4 13.7 Jericho 5.0 7.5 22.5 2.5 40.0 2.5 5.0 5.0 10.0 - - Ramallah 8.2 1.0 10.3 2.6 38.7 3.6 2.1 4.6 16.0 3.6 9.3 Hebron 5.7 2.8 23.6 0.8 26.0 7.3 0.8 13.4 12.6 - 7.0 Bethlehem 7.6 1.5 12.1 4.5 39.4 6.1 3.8 15.2 7.6 -- 2.2 Jerusalem 4.0 3.2 4.8 2.4 32.5 2.4 4.8 10.3 18.3 1.6 15.7 Gaza 9.5 2.4 17.1 0.3 35.3 3.0 2.4 5.2 8.4 1.9 14.5 North Gaza 10.5 2.6 14.9 0.9 32.5 4.4 4.4 2.6 7.0 0.9 19.3 Middle Gaza 9.0 1.1 16.9 1.6 49.2 2.1 -- 1.6 4.8 0.5 13.2 SouthPolitical Affiliation among Palestinian Women
Palestinian women support groups across the political spectrum. However, it is noticeable that the most support for Hizb el-Sha'b, which may be described as a "liberal" party comes from women more than men. At the same time, supporters of both Hamas and Islamic Jihad (groups advocating an Islamic system) are comprised of more women than men. Fateh has more male supporters than female. This may be due to Fateh's emphasis on political rather than social issues. It is also noticeable that support of women for Fateh decreases with education. The supporters of PFLP, DFLP, and Feda are divided almost equally between men and women.
The vast majority of Palestinians (84.3%) want all Jewish settlements in the Occupied Territories to be dismantled. Only 9.5% entertained the possibility of keeping some settlements intact. In this respect, we notice some difference between the West Bank and Gaza. A higher percentage of Gazans (92.7%) said that settlements should be totally dismantled than in the West Bank (80%). This difference is a reflection of the status of the process of negotiations between Israel and the PLO and the effect of these negotiations on the future of each area. In Gaza the issue of settlements is urgent and must be resolved now as the DoP is implemented there. Gazans consider the dismantlement of settlements a realistic demand; only a few thousand Jews live in Gaza which will become part of the Palestinian autonomous area. Their presence in Gaza is considered an additional burden on both Palestinian and Israeli authorities. Many Palestinians equate the end of Israeli occupation with the dismantling of settlements. Others are concerned that the presence of Jewish settlers in Gaza might lead to internal strife among Palestinians because of questions as to how the Palestinian authority will react if members of the opposition attack settlers.
In the West Bank, the issue of settlements is more complex. The number of settlers here is almost 300,000 (including East Jerusalem). Settlements are connected through a highway system and they are more concretely established. The infrastructure for settlements in the West Bank is of a more "permanent" nature and changing the status quo will prove to be difficult. The postponement of the issue of settlements to final status negotiations might have had an influence on Palestinians in the West Bank; they might have thought that this was a realization by the PLO that some settlements might have to stay in the West Bank in the future.
We attempted to identify Palestinian attitudes on the issue of refugee camps in the Occupied Territories. They were asked to evaluate a number of future options. The poll showed a division among Palestinians on the issue with 39.3% of them indicating support for the building of new housing projects to replace the refugee camps. The highest support for this option is among city and village residents. Political affiliation is not a major factor here, support for this option came from supporters of all political groups.
Future of Refugee Camps by Political Affiliation
Remain Until New Housing Improve Living Others % Final Agreement % % Conditions % PFLP 31.9 36.2 29.0 2.9 Feda 19.5 63.4 9.8 7.3 Hamas 34.6 31.7 31.4 2.3 DFLP 41.4 37.9 20.7 ----- Fateh 26.0 37.9 34.5 1.6 I. Jihad 17.1 44.3 37.1 1.5 Hizb el-Sha'b 33.3 35.9 25.6 5.2 Isl. Independents 25.6 44.4 27.4 2.6 Nat. Independents 27.9 47.0 23.5 1.6 Others 20.6 38.2 35.3 5.9 No One 24.4 41.6 28.6 5.4
As to improving the living conditions in refugee camps, 30.5% supported this idea. This was the first choice of refugee camp residents (42%). Palestinians showed less support (27.6) for maintaining the status quo until a final political agreement is reached. This option was the least favorable in refugee camps.
Future of Refugee Camps by Place of Residence
Remain Until New Housing Improve Living Others % Final Agreement % % Conditions % City/Town 31.9 36.2 29.0 2.9 Village 19.5 63.4 9.8 7.3 R. Camp 34.6 31.7 31.4 2.3
It is important to mention here that Palestinians were not asked about their opinion of the right of refugees to return, and therefore, it would be misleading to assume that approval of any of the options mentioned above is an indication of giving up on the right to return. These attitudes might only reflect Palestinian expectations of the Palestinian authority during the interim period.
1. In your opinion, the best way to choose the members of the Palestinian Council of the Palestinian Interim Self-Governing Authority is:
Total West Bank Gaza
a. appointment by the PLO 16.5% 14.9% 19.6% b. appointment by political groups 08.9% 08.3% 10.2% on the basis of a quota system c. general political elections 72.6% 74.7% 78.7% d. other (specify) 02.0% 02.1% 01.5%
2. Will you participate in the general elections to choose the members of that Palestinian Council of the Palestinian Interim Self-Governing Authority?
a. yes 72.4% 74.0% 69.3% b. no 14.2% 12.4% 17.6% c. not sure 13.4% 13.6% 13.1%
3. In your view, what is the best way to choose the Palestinian Munici- pal Councils?
a. return of the previously elected 05.2% 05.5% 04.8% councils. b. new elections 71.2% 72.1% 69.3% c. appointment by the national 09.8% 08.8% 11.8% authority. d. return of the previously elected 12.8% 12.6% 13.2% councils for a short time and then new elections. e. other (specify) 01.0% 01.0% 00.9%
4. Do you agree that women should have the right to vote in elections?
a. yes 79.4% 81.0% 76.3% b. no 14.6% 13.1% 17.6% c. don't know 06.0% 05.9% 06.1%
5. If a Palestinian woman ran for election, are you ready to elect her?
a. yes, if she were sufficiently 63.1% 66.1% 57.5% qualified. b. no, a man is probably more 21.0% 20.2% 22.7% qualified. c. no, because I do not support 10.7% 08.2% 15.6% women running for election. d. not sure 05.2% 05.5% 04.2%
6. If the elections to choose the members of this government were held today, you would vote for candidates from: (the appointed date for holding this election is July 13, 1994)
a. PFLP 07.2% 05.9% 09.5% b. Feda 02.1% 02.1% 02.1% c. Hamas 15.9% 15.5% 16.7% d. DFLP 01.5% 01.9% 00.7% e. Fateh 37.8% 37.4% 38.7% f. Islamic Jihad 03.7% 04.0% 03.0% g. Hizb el-Sha'b 02.0% 02.0% 02.1% h. Islamic independents 06.0% 07.3% 03.7% i. National independents 09.5% 10.8% 07.2% j. other (specify) 01.8% 02.0% 01.3% k. no one 12.5% 11.1% 15.0%
7. With regard to the settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, after the end of the interim period:
a. I want a complete dismantling 84.3% 79.8% 92.8% of them and evacuation of the settlers. b. some of the settlements may 09.5% 12.7% 03.5% stay, under the authority of the Palestinian law and police. c. not sure 04.8% 06.2% 02.2% d. other (specify) 01.4% 01.3% 01.5%
8. With regard to the refugee camps in the West Bank and Gaza:
a. I prefer that they remain until a 27.6% 27.4% 27.9% final agreement is reached regarding them. b. I prefer to transfer the residents 39.3% 41.4% 35.3% to new housing projects. c. I prefer that they remain with 30.5% 28.6% 34.0% improvements in their living conditions. d. other (specify) 02.6% 02.6% 02.8%
The West Bank
The West Bank was divided into 8 areas and 18 polling "electoral" districts as follows:
District Population Sample Sample distribution * size ** size Nablus city 85,375 92 100% Towns Nablus East 81,995 59 89% Villages, 11% R.Camps Nablus West 63,628 77 92% Villages, 8% R.Camps Nablus Total 230,998 228 District Population Sample Sample distribution size size Tulkarm (North) 105,694 67 25% Towns, 64% Villages, 11% R. Camps Tulkarm (South) 96,738 70 33% Towns, 67% Villages Tulkarm Total 202,432 137 District Population Sample Sample Distribution size size Jenin (East) 96,721 87 54% Towns, 34% Villages, 12% R. Camps Jenin (West) 100,490 64 100% Villages Jenin Total 197,211 151 District Population Sample Sample Distribution size size Jericho 25,957 41 55% Towns, 24% Villages, 21% R. Camps District Population Sample Sample Distribution size size Ramallah (North) 76,983 51 84% Villages, 16% R. Camps Ramallah (South) 77,533 72 37% Towns, 50% Villages, 13% R.Camps Ramallah (City) 75,178 96 82% Towns, 10% Villages, 8% R. Camps Ramallah Total 229,694 219 District Population Sample Sample Distribution size size Hebron (North) 82,947 72 84% Villages, 16% R. Camps Hebron (South) 80,073 72 88% Villages, 12% R.Camps Hebron (City) 96,545 69 100% Towns Hebron Total 259,565 213 District Population Sample Sample Distribution size size Bethlehem (City) 68,646 74 33% Towns, 51% Villages, 16% R.Camps Bethlehem(Vicinity) 70,273 75 10% Towns, 74% Villages, 16% R. Camps Bethlehem Total 138,919 149 District Population Sample Sample Distribution size size Jerusalem (Vicinity) 81,730 74 49% Towns, 42% Villages, 9% R.Camps Jerusalem (City) 83,580 74 14% Towns, 86% Villages Jerusalem Total 165,310 148
* (a complete list of villages and camps included in each district may be obtained from CPRS.)
The Gaza Strip
The Gaza Strip was divided into 3 "areas" (North, Middle, South) and 7 polling "electoral" districts as shown below:
District Population Sample Sample Distribution size size Jabalia & North 141,915 113 Beit Hanoun, Beit Lahia Village & Project, Jabalia RCamp, Al-Nazli Gaza city (A) 90,000 91 Al-Shati', Sheikh Radwan, Al-Nasr Gaza city (B) 110,000 90 Al-Rimal, Al-Sabra, Al-Daraj Gaza city (C) 1001,000 88 Al-Tofah, Al-Zaytoun, Al-Shuja'iyah North Total 441,915 381 District Population Sample Sample Distribution size size Middle Camps 116,600 115 Al-Bureij, Al-Magazi, Nuseirat, Zawaydeh, Deir El-Balah District Population Sample Sample Distribution size size Khan Yunis 140,514 115 Khan Yunis (Camp and City) Qararah, Bani Suhaila, Khaza, Abasan. Rafah & Camp 102,346 80 Rafah (Camp and City) South Total 242,860 195
* CPRS estimates are based on the figures provided by "Palestinian Population Handbook" by the "Planning and Research Center 1993".
Naturally, CPRS researchers realize that if elections were to be held, they would not necessarily be based on "electoral districts". We also understand that electoral districts may be divided in various other ways. However, we believe that this poll captures, as accurately as possible, the political map in the Occupied Territories.
In addition, interested individuals may obtain the results of the voting patterns in each one these areas according to place of residence (city, village, and refugee camp) by contacting CPRS.