PSR - Survey Research Unit: Poll No. 15 - Press Release
Poll 13 press release

14 March 2005

PRESS RELEASE

Palestinian Public Opinion Poll

 

 

SHARP DECREASE IN SUPPORT FOR SUICIDE BOMBINGS INSIDE ISRAEL AND SATISFACTION WITH THE PERFORMANCE OF ABU MAZIN, BUT HAMASí POPULARITY INCREASES WHILE FATEHíS DECREASES

 

10-12 March 2005

 

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 March 10-12, 2005. Total size of the sample is 1319 adults interviewed face to face in 120 randomly selected locations. Margin of error is 3% and rejection rate 2%.

 

For further details, contact PSR director, Dr. Khalil Shikaki, at tel 02-296 4933 or email pcpsr@pcpsr.org.

 

        Support for the Tel Aviv night club suicide attack, which took place about three weeks ago, reaches 29% compared to 77% for the Bir Shiba suicide attack in September 2004 and 75% for the Maxim Restaurant suicide attack in Haifa in October 2003. Opposition to the Tel Aviv attack reaches 67%. But support for the steps taken by the PA to punish the perpetrators, such as arrests, does not exceed 40% while 57% oppose them.

        Support for Fateh reaches 36% (compared to 40% last December) and for Hamas 25% (compared to 18% last December). Support for Hamas in the Gaza Strip reaches 32% and in the West Bank 21%. Support for Fateh in the Gaza Strip reaches 35% and in the West Bank 36%.

        Palestinian public expects close results for Fateh and Hamas in the upcoming May local elections and a victory for Fateh in the legislative elections scheduled for July 2005. But in the Gaza Strip, the public expects a major victory for Hamas in the local elections and a victory for Fateh in the legislative elections.

        The public believes that Hamasí victory in the previous local elections has been due firstly to the integrity and incorruptibility of its candidates and secondly to the unity and discipline within the movement. Fatehís loss is attributed firstly to the spread of corruption in the PA and Fateh and secondly to divisions and lack of discipline in the movement.

        75% are satisfied with Abu Mazinís performance with regard to steps taken to revive the peace process, such as the ceasefire and release of prisoners. 70% are satisfied with his dismissal of senior security officers, and 62% believe that Abu Mazin is serious about fighting corruption in the PA.

        Only 45% give confidence in the new cabinet headed by Abu Alaí. Despite that, 71% believe the new cabinet will be able to return to the peace process; 57% believe it will be able to improve economic conditions; 52% believe it will be able to control the security situation including the enforcement of a ceasefire; a similar percentage believes the new cabinet will be able to fight corruption; and 49% believe it will be able to carry out political reforms.

        Only 44% view positively the achievements of Sharm al Sheikh summit in reviving the peace process.

        In the current Palestinian-Israeli negotiations, the public organizes its short term priorities as follows: release of prisoners is on top followed by three issues having the same exact importance: freezing settlement construction, stop building the separation barrier inside the West Bank, and return of laborers to work inside Israel. The next priority is the removal of Israeli checkpoints. In the West Bank alone, the list of priorities puts stopping the barrier in second place after release of prisoners, then the freeze of settlement construction, and the removal of checkpoints. In the Gaza Strip, release of prisonersí is also the top priority but it is followed by return of laborers to work inside Israel.

        75% support a women quota of 20% guaranteed seats in the legislative council. But the public is split on the electoral system with 39% supporting the current district-based majority system, 26% supporting a proportional representation system, and 25% supporting a mixed system combining elements of the two other systems.

        91% support internal and external calls for fundamental political reforms in the PA, and 87% believe there is corruption in the PA, and 51% believe this corruption will increase or remain the same in the future.