PSR - Survey Research Unit: Poll No. 10 - Press Release
Poll 8 summary

16 December 2003


Palestinian Public Opinion Poll




4-9 December 2003


These are the results of the latest poll conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip between December 4 and 9, 2003.  Total size of the sample is 1319 adults interviewed face to face in 120 randomly selected locations. Margin of error is 3%.


For further details, contact PSR director, Dr. Khalil Shikaki or Ayoub Mustafa, at Tel 02-2964933 or email




 (1) Geneva Document

  • 73% have heard of the Geneva document and the rest has not. But only 4% say they have full knowledge of it.
  • Only 7% have learned about Geneva from the pamphlet containing the document that were distributed with al Quds and al Ayyam newspapers while 79% have heard about it from the media.
  • Support for the document among those who have heard of it (i.e., among 73% of the public) reaches 25% (19% of all the public), opposition 61% (44% of all the public), and the undecided 14%. 37% of all the public are either undecided or have not heard of it.
  • Upon reading a summary of the main points of the document, support for the full package proposed by the document (among 100% of the public) increases from 19% to 39%, opposition increases from 44% to 58%, and the undecided and uninformed decreases from 37% to 3%. All the figures below referring to the Geneva document have been obtained after informing our respondents in detail about the various components of the Geneva document.
  • A majority supports two main components of the document: security arrangements involving the deployment a multinational force (58%) and the Israeli withdrawal based on the 1967 borders with mutual 1:1 territorial exchange (57%). A map showing borders and territorial exchange was presented to respondents. The percentage of opposition to the deployment of a multinational force reaches 40% and to territorial exchange 41%.
  • The Jerusalem component of the document received the support of 46% with 52% opposing; end of conflict received 42% support with 55% opposing; and the establishment of a state without an army received 36% support with 63% opposing.
  • A minority not exceeding a quarter gives support to the components of a refugee solution (25%) and the limitations on the sovereignty of the Palestinian state (23%). The percentage of opposition to the refugee component reaches 72% and to the limitation on sovereignty 76%. No difference between refugees and non-refugees exists when it comes to the Geneva refugee solution. Both segments of the society oppose it equally. 
  • In the eyes of the Palestinian public, the best component of the Geneva document is the one that deals with the territorial exchange and Israeli army withdrawal and the worst is the one that deals with refugees.


(2) Peace, Violence and Reconciliation

  • 58% believe that the Roadmap is dead, compared to 68% last October. Only one third, compared to 28% in October, believes that there is still a chance to implement it.
  • Percentage of support for attacks on soldiers and settlers in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip remains very high at 87%. But supports for attacks on Israeli civilians drops to the lowest level since the start of the intifada (48%, compared to 59% last October).
  • Despite the high level of support for violence, a large majority of 83% supports mutual cessation of violence while 15% oppose it. And if an agreement on mutual cessation of violence were reached with Israel, 53% would support crackdown on those who would continue the violence. But 80% are worried that such a crackdown would lead to internal Palestinian strife; on the other hand, 73% believe that continuation of the violence would impede return to negotiations.
  • 64% believe that armed confrontations have helped achieve Palestinian rights in ways that negotiations could not.
  • After reaching a peace agreement with Israel, 77% would support reconciliation between the two peoples with 87% supporting open borders between the two states, 69% supporting joint economic ventures and institutions, 42% supporting enacting laws that prohibit incitement against Israel, 29% supporting joint political institutions such as a parliament, and 10% supporting school curriculum that does not call for the return of all Palestine to Palestinians.


(3) Abu Ala’s Government, Reform, and Corruption

  • 37% are willing to give confidence to Abu Ala’ government, 42% are not, and 21% undecided. Last June, 41% gave confidence to Abu Mazin’s government and 52% refused to do so.
  • Confidence in the ability of Abu Ala’s government to carry out political reforms does not exceed 39%, fighting corruption 37%, improve economic conditions 45%, renewing negotiations with Israel 67%, and controlling the security situation and enforcing a ceasefire 34%. Those figures are similar to those obtained by Abu Mazin’s government last June except for that related to improving the economic conditions which received 56%.
  • Support for internal and external calls for fundamental political reforms reaches 89% with 9% opposing them.
  • Belief in the existence of corruption in PA institutions reaches 81% with less than 10% believing it does not exist. Two thirds of those who believe in the existence of corruption believe that it will increase or remain the same in the future while 21% believe that it will decrease.


(4) Popularity of Arafat and the political factions

  • Arafat’s popularity decreases from 50% last October to 38% in this poll.
  • Marwan Barghouti remains the most popular (as a vice president) with 16% (compared to 17% last October). Hamas’ Abdul Aziz Rantisi is the second most popular with 14% followed by Sa’eb Erikat (7%), Ahmad Yasin (6%), Hanan Ashrawi and Farouq Qaddumi (5% each), Haider Abdul Shafi (4%), and Abu Ala’ (3%).
  • Fateh’s popularity stands at 25%, Hamas 20%, Islamic Jihad 5%, independent Islamists 6% (with the Islamists reaching a total of 31%). With national opposition groups (PFLP and DFLP) receiving the support of 4%, total support for nationalist and Islamist opposition stands today at 35%.The unaffiliated remains the largest group however with 40%. Last October, Fateh received the support of 28% and Hamas 21%.



This PSR survey was conducted with the support of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Ramallah.



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