CPRS Polls - Survey Research Unit
Public Opinion Poll #22
Armed Attacks, Peace Process, Elections, Unemployment, March 29-31, 1996

Israel Elections: Labor or Likud

Many Palestinians (43%) think that there is no difference between Labor and Likud in regard to achieving Palestinian goals. In Gaza, however, most respondents believe Labor is better. Only 5% of all respondents believe Likud is better. A large minority of 40% think Labor is better. The more educated is the less likely to see Labor in better light. As expected, there is a positive relationship between participation in elections, opposition to armed attacks, and support for negotiations and the "pro-peace" camp and the belief that Labor is better than Likud (see Table 7).

Table # (7)
Labor is better for Palestinians by selected variables:
Education Elementary 45.8%
Bachelor 31.7%
Participation in elections Participant 42.1%
Non-participant 32.5%
Position on negotiations Support 45.4%
Opposing 21.7%
Position on armed attacks Support 28.7%
Oppose 45.2%
Political Affiliation Pro Peace camp 48.3%
Opposition camp 29.8%
Undecided 30.0%

Support for armed attacks

Support for armed attacks against Israelis increased slightly in March after a steady decline over the past two years. Some 21% support and 70% oppose the suicide attacks carried out by Hamas and Islamic Jihad in the few weeks preceding this poll. In Gaza opposition to armed attacks against Israelis is even higher. Table 8 shows that support for armed attacks in people with bachelor degree than people with elementary education. Support for armed attacks against Israelis is more likely to be lower among unemployed, the participants in elections, the support of negotiations and the pro-peace camp.

Table # (8)
Support for armed attacks by selected variables:
Place of Residence Nablus 26.1%
Ramallah 19.3%
Hebron 24.8%
Bethlehem 14.7%
Gaza City 17.6%
Education Elementary 15.0%
Bachelor 28.0%
Occupation Students 28.6%
Unemployed 15.1%
Participation in elections Participant 18.7%
Non-participant 29.2%
Position on negotiations Support 15.3%
Oppose 47.5%
Political affiliation Pro Peace camp 15.0%
Opposition camp 48.9%
Undecided 18.9%

Views on PNA Security Measures

A majority (59%) support the measures taken by the PNA to prevent further armed attacks against Israelis. But nearly one-third of Palestinians are opposed to them. As shown in Table 9, opposition to the measures is stronger among students, holders of a B.A. degree, non-participants in elections, and those opposed to the negotiations and supportive of armed attacks.

Table # (9)
Opposition for measures taken by PNA by selected variables:
Place of Residence Tulkarm 42.0%
Bethlehem 22.1%
Jerusalem 33.7%
Gaza City 28.8%
Gaza South 27.5%
Education Elementary 27.2%
Bachelor 41.6%
Occupation Student 42.9%
Unemployed 28.3%
Particiaption in elections Participant 27.7%
Non-participant 46.6%
Position on negotiations Support 24.8%
Oppose 61.3%
Position on armed attacks Support 61.7%
Oppose 23.0%
Political Affiliation Pro Peace camp 23.3%
Opposition camp 62.2%
Undecided 32.8%

Armed attacks and peace process

Almost three-quarters of Palestinians believe that armed attacks may impede the peace process. This finding explains the large percentage of opposition to armed attacks despite Palestinian anger and frustration over Israeli policy in the aftermath of the suicide bombs. Since most Palestinians support the continuation of the peace talks and a similar number believe that violence may lead to an end such negotiations, it is reasonable to expect that most would oppose violence. In other words, to most Palestinians, negotiations are still seen as an alternative to violence as a means to achieving Palestinian goals. Table 10 shows that participation in election, position on negotiation and armed attacks, and political affiliation also associated to attitudes regarding the relationship between armed attacks and viability of negotiation with Israel.

Table # (10)
Belief that armed attacks do not obstruct the peace process by selected variables:
Education Elementary 16.3%
Bachelor 21.0%
Participation in elections Participant 17.4%
Non-participant 24.7%
Position on negotiations Support 15.6%
Oppose 34.3%
Position on armed attacks Support 36.5%
Oppose 13.0%
Political affiliation Pro peace camp 15.4%
Opposition camp 33.1%
Undecided 18.9%

Concerns about PNA security measures

Approximately three-quarters of Palestinians are either very worried or somewhat worried that measures taken by the PNA to prevent further attacks against Israelis may lead to internal Palestinian conflict. As Table 11 indicates, the concern is particularly high among women, people over 40 years- old and waged laborers. Also, those who oppose negotiations and support armed attacks are more likely to be very worried about the possibility of internal conflict.

Table # (11)
The "very worried" that PNA measures may lead to internal conflict by selected variables:
Area of Residence Tulkarm 50.8%
Ramallah 48.7%
Hebron 50.8%
Gaza City 47.6%
Gaza South 41.2%
Gender Male 37.6%
Female 52.1%
Age 18-22 39.9%
43-50 51.2%
Occupation Student 48.2%
Waged Laborers 39.5%
Craftsmen 43.6%
Participation in elections Participant 45.5%
Non-participant 45.2%
Position on negotiations Support 43.3%
Oppose 54.9%
Position on armed attacks Support 53.4%
Oppose 43.0%
Political affiliation Pro peace camp 42.6%
Opposition camp 53.6%
Undecided 47.0%

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