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

Most Palestinians tend to blame Israel for the difficult conditions imposed on them in the aftermath of the suicide attacks. Almost 31%, however, places the blame on Hamas, while only 11% blame the PNA. In Gaza, Hamas is blamed more than it is blamed in the West Bank. Table 12 shows that blame for Israel in Ramallah and Bethlehem is higher than blame for Israel in Gaza North and Gaza middle. Conversely, blame for Hamas in Gaza North and Gaza middle is higher than that in Ramallah.

Table # (12)
Blame for the closure by selected areas of residence
PNA to be blamed Hamas to be blamed Israel to be blamed
Area of Residence Nablus 11.8% 28.6% 55.5%
Jenin 9.9% 33.7% 51.5%
Ramallah 8.0% 23.2% 61.6%
Bethlehem 4.4% 26.5% 60.3%
Jerusalem 16.2% 29.3% 53.5%
Gaza North 10.5% 45.6% 35.3%
Gaza Middle 11.9% 39.5% 35.7%

Table 13 indicates that there is higher levels of blame for Hamas among the unemployed as one might expect. Students, non-participants in elections, and those opposed to negotiations and supportive of armed attacks are least likely to blame Hamas. It is interesting to notice that the undecided are closer to the oon this matter than to the "pro-peace" camp.

Table # (13)
Blaming Hamas by selected variables:
Occupation Student 20.0%
Unemployed 36.6%
Participation in elections Participant 33.0%
Non-participant 22.1%
Position on negotiations Support 35.5%
Oppose 12.7%
Position on armed attacks Support 12.1%
Oppose 38.5%
Political affiliation Pro peace camp 39.8%
Opposition camp 14.0%
Undecided 21.4%

Mutual end to violence

Almost 90% of the Palestinians support a call for a mutual end to violence between the two sides. Only a mere 7% is opposed to such a step. As expected, support for mutual non-violence is highest among those who participated in the elections and those who support negotiations and oppose armed attacks. Nonetheless, as can be seen in Table 14, there is an overwhelming majority in support for mutual non-violence even among supporters of armed attacks.

Table # (14)
Support for mutual end to violence by selected variables
Participation in elections Participant 91.6%
Non-participant 80.5%
Position on negotiation Support 93.3%
Oppose 73.5%
Position on armed attacks Support 78.1%
Oppose 93.9%
Political affiliation Pro peace camp 93.8%
Opposition camp 80.1%
Undecided 85.0%

"Separation"

More than two thirds of the Palestinians view "separation" as another form of collective punishment. Only 13% see in it the beginning of an Israeli acceptance of a Palestinian state. This finding is similar to the one discovered in February 1995, when the idea of "separation" was first posed by Israelis in the aftermath of the Bit-Lid suicide attack. At that time some 64% regarded it as collective punishment and 16% regarded it as the beginning of a Palestinian state.

Political affiliation

There has been a clear drop in the popularity of all political factions and parties, especially in the opposition camp: support for Hamas dropped to 6%, PFLP to 2%, and Fateh to 48%. The proportion of undecided went up to 30% compared to 18% in December. 1995. (See figure 1). It is possible that supporters of the opposition may be reflecting disappointment over the action (i.e. suicide attacks) of opposition factions, while the supporters of the "peace camp" may be punishing Fateh for the latest actions (i.e. security measures) of the PNA.

Table # (15)
Political Affiliation
Dec. 94Dec. 95 March 96
Hamas 16.6%9.7% 5.8%
Al-Sha'b 0.8%1.8% 1.7%
PFLP 6.7%3.8% 2.1%
Fateh 43.1%55.3% 47.5%
Feda 0.8%0.4% 0.2%
Islamic Jihad 2.6%2.0% 1.0%
DFLP1.4%1.5% 1.1%
Islamic Independent 3.7% 3.6%4.4%
National Independent 4.9% 3.2%6.0%
None of the above11.7% 13.8%25.0%
Others 7.7%4.8% 5.3%


Appendix

                                             Total West Bank  Gaza
* Unemployment rate                          49.0%    44.0%   60.0%
1) Are you satisfied with the results of the Palestinian elections for the 
president of the authority and for the members of the legislative council 
which took place two months ago? 
a) Yes, I am satisfied                       53.4%   50.6%    58.1% 
b) No, I am not satisfied                    18.8%   21.1%    14.9% 
c) I am partially satisfied                  23.9%   24.8%    22.5% 
d) No opinion                                03.8%   03.5%    04.4%
2) Did you participate in the Palestinian elections which took place on 
January 20th ,1996? 
a) Yes                                       77.2%   70.3%    88.6% 
b) No (Go to 4)                              22.8%   29.7%    11.4% 
3) Why did you not participate in the elections? 
a) I am opposed to the peace                 12.9%   14.0%    07.8% 
process. 
b) I did not find good candidates            10.4%   11.8%    03.9% 
to vote for. 
c) I was busy with other things              27.6%   28.9%    21.6% 
d) It was difficult to get                   03.6%   03.5%    03.9% 
transportation to the voting location. 
e) I have doubted the fairness               05.0%   04.4%    07.8% 
of the elections. 
f) Others, specify                           40.5%   37.4%    54.9%
4) Regarding the current peace process between the Palestinian and the 
Israeli sides, I: 
a) Support its continuation                  78.3%   76.2%    81.7% 
b) Support stopping it                       16.4%   18.2%    13.5% 
c) No opinion                                05.3%   05.6%    04.8% 
5) Has your support for the Palestinian Authority increased or decreased 
these days? 
a) My support increased                      23.5%   22.8%    24.6% 
b) My support decreased                      23.3%   25.9%    19.1% 
c) Stayed as is, I am still supportive       43.9%   40.2%    50.0% 
d) Stayed as is, I am not supportive         09.2%   11.0%    06.3%
6) At the end of May, elections for the Israeli Knesset will take place. In 
these election the Labor Party led by Shimon Peres will compete against the 
Likud led by Netanyahu. In your opinion who is better in regard to achieving 
Palestinian goals? 
a) A government led by Likud                 04.9%   04.9%    05.0% 
b) A government led by Labor                 40.0%   38.3%    42.9% 
c) No difference between the two             43.1%   46.6%    37.4% 
regarding achievement of 
Palestinian goals. 
d) No opinion                                11.9%   10.2%    14.7% 
7) Lately, armed attacks have taken place against Israelis in Jerusalem, 
Tel Aviv and Ashkelon. Do you support such attacks? 
a) yes                                       21.1%   23.8%    16.8% 
b) No                                        70.1%   67.6%    74.4% 
c) No opinion                                08.7%   08.6%    08.8% 
8) Regarding these armed attacks against Israeli targets, do you approve or 
oppose the Palestinian Authority taking measures to prevent them? 
a) I approve                                 58.5%   56.0%    62.6% 
b) I oppose                                  31.9%   34.8%    27.1% 
c) No opinion                                09.6%   09.2%    10.3% 
9) If the Palestinian Authority did not take measures to prevent the armed 
attacks, do you think that the continuation of such attacks may impede the 
peace process between the Palestinians and the Israelis?
a) Yes                                       74.9%   72.7%    78.6% 
b) No                                        19.0%   21.0%    15.8% 
c) No opinion                                06.1%   06.3%    05.7% 
10)The Palestinian Authority has taken security measures to prevent armed 
attacks. Are you concerned that these measures may lead to internal 
Palestinian conflict? 
a) Yes, very worried                         45.5%   47.0%    43.1% 
b) Somewhat worried                          28.4%   28.0%    29.0% 
c) No, not worried                           22.0%   20.9%    23.7% 
d) No opinion                                04.1%   04.1%    04.2% 
11) Regarding the conditions imposed on the Palestinians after the latest 
armed attacks (e.g. the closure), whom do you blame most for what is 
happening? 
a) The Palestinian Authority                 11.3%   11.3%    11.2% 
b) Hamas and Islamic Jihad                   30.5%   26.8%    36.5% 
c) Israel                                    50.0%   55.9%    40.3% 
d) No opinion                                08.3%   06.0%    12.0% 
12) Regarding the call for ending violence from the two sides, the Palestinian and the Israeli, I: 
a) Support it                                89.2%   89.5%    88.6% 
b) Oppose it                                 07.2%   08.0%    05.9% 
c) No opinion                                03.7%   02.5%    05.5% 
13) I believe that the notion of separation as proposed by the Israeli government is mainly:
a) The beginning of an Israeli               12.9%   14.6%    10.1% 
acceptance of a Palestinian 
state in the West Bank and Gaza. 
b) Collective punishment against             70.8%   73.3%    66.8% 
Palestinians. 
c) Not sure                                  16.3%   12.1%    23.1% 
14) Which of the following political movements do you support: 
a) PPP                                       01.7%   02.0%    01.3% 
b) PFLP                                      02.1%   01.9%    02.3% 
c) Fateh                                     47.5%   44.3%    52.6% 
d) Hamas                                     05.8%   06.0%    05.5% 
e) DFLP                                      01.1%   01.8%    ----- 
f) Islamic Jihad                             01.0%   00.6%    01.7% 
g) Feda                                      00.2%   00.1%    00.2% 
h) Islamic Independent                       04.4%   05.5%    02.5% 
i) National Independent                      06.0%   06.5%    05.1% 
j) None of the above                         25.0%   24.4%    25.9% 
k) Others (specify __________)               05.3%   06.8%    02.9%

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