PSR - Survey Research Unit: Poll No. 39 - Full Analysis


PSR poll No. 39 - Full Analysis

10 April 2011 

 

 

Palestinian Public Opinion Poll No (39)

 

While youth revolts in the Arab World pose a threat to Hamas and its government in the Gaza Strip, al Jazeera leaks of PLO documents recording Palestinian-Israeli negotiations pose a threat to Fateh and the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, and the US use of its veto power against the UNSC resolution denouncing Israeli settlements destroys much of American credibility in the peace process

 

17-19 March 2011    

 

Table of Contents:

 

 

These are the results of the latest poll conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR) in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip between 17-19 March 2011. The poll was conducted during a period of turmoil and revolt in the Arab World leading to regime change in Egypt and Tunisia. Moreover, the Palestinian areas witnessed demonstrations demanding end of the split between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Before that, al Jazeera satellite TV news station released leaked Palestinian documents pertaining to Palestinian-Israeli negotiations. These documents were leaked from the PLO negotiations department. During the same period, the US used its veto power to block a UNSC resolution condemning Israeli settlements’ activities. In the settlement of Itamar, near Nablus, a family of five was killed. This press release covers issues related to the events in the Arab World, the leaks on al Jazeera, Palestinian domestic conditions, the performance of the governments of Salam Fayyad and Ismail Haniyeh, the internal balance of power between Fateh and Hamas, the future of reconciliation and reunification, the views of the public on the most vital Palestinian goals and the most serious problems confronting Palestinians today, the peace process and the impact of the Arab youth demonstrations on it, and the Itamar attack. Total size of the sample is 1270 adults interviewed face to face in 127 randomly selected locations. Margin of error is 3%.

 

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

 

Main Findings:

 

Findings of the first quarter of 2010 highlight a number of internal developments that came in response to external events. Three of the most significant events of the period under consideration were the publication of PLO documents related to Palestinian-Israeli negotiations, the eruption of youth demonstrations in the Arab World demanding regime change in their countries, and the US use of its veto power to block a settlements' related UNSC resolution.  Palestinians were affected differently by these events. For example, the Palestinian Authority (PA) and its leadership were negatively affected by al Jazeera leaks as findings show a decrease in support for Fateh and a similar decrease in the level of satisfaction with the performance of president Mahmud Abbas. Several factors led to this outcome: al Jazeera remains the most watched TV news station in the Palestinian areas and the most credible one. While the PA leadership in the West Bank defended itself by accusing al Jazeera of conspiring against it, a large majority of Palestinians believed that al Jazeera goal was to seek the truth and not to conspire against the PA. Moreover, in responding to the leaks, the PA’s case remained unconvincing in the eyes of a large majority of Palestinians. Above all else, and based on the leaks, half of the public concluded that the PA’s negotiating position was not committed to the vital goals and interests of the Palestinian people.

 

By contrast, the events in the Arab World and particularly the youth demonstrations seem to pose a threat to Hamas in the Gaza Strip rather than to Fateh in the West Bank. For example, findings show that two thirds of Gazans believe that there is a need for demonstrations in the Gaza Strip demanding regime change in the Strip. More seriously for Hamas, half of Gazans indicate that they might participate in such demonstrations. In the West Bank, the picture is different: only one third believes there is a need to demonstrate and demand West Bank regime change and only one quarter indicate willingness to participate in such demonstrations. Findings also show that if demonstrations were to erupt in the Gaza Strip, demands and slogans will focus not only on ending the West Bank-Gaza Strip split, but also on the absence of freedoms. By contrast, if demonstrations erupt in the West Bank, demands and slogans will focus on the two issues of ending the split and ending occupation.  It is worth noting that findings show that the Palestinian public expects the developments in the Arab World to have a positive impact on the prospects for opening the Rafah crossing with Egypt on permanent basis. But a large majority does not expect Palestinian demonstrations similar to those in the Arab World would lead to end of occupation or end of settlement activities.

 

Finally, findings show that the US use of its veto power to block UNSC resolution condemning settlement activities has dealt a severe blow to Palestinian public readiness to accept a large US role in the peace process. The poll found that the percentage of those in favor of such US role has decreased considerably to a small minority; in previous surveys, large majority favored a greater US intervention in the peace process.

 

(1) Youth demonstrations in the Arab World and in Palestine:

 

  • 92% sympathize with demonstrators in the Arab World and two thirds expect this development to have a positive impact on Palestinian conditions
  • 36% of West Bankers support West Bank demonstrations to change the regime and 24% are ready to participate in such demonstrations
  • 67% of Gazans support demonstrations in the Gaza Strip that would seek to charge the regime and 50% are ready to participate in these demonstrations
  • 51% prefer the slogan that calls for "people want to end the split" and 24% favor "people want to end the occupation"

 

An overwhelming majority of 92% sympathizes with the demonstrators in Arab countries such as Egypt, Tunisia, and Yemen; 7% do not sympathize with Arab demonstrators. 41% believe that the first basic demand of the demonstrators in Egypt is to end the state of poverty and unemployment, 38% believe it is freedom from oppression of the ruling regime, 11% believe it is to end corruption, 5% believe it is to replace the Egyptian regime with an Islamist one, and 3% believe the demonstrators want to express opposition to Egypt’s pro Western policies.  About two thirds (64%) expect the developments in the Arab World to have a positive impact on Palestinian conditions, 17% believe they will have a negative impact, and 15% believe they will have no impact.

 

Two thirds (66%) expect the fall of the Mubarak regime in Egypt to lead to permanent opening of the Rafah international crossing with Egypt and 27% do not expect that. But a majority of 54% believes the chances for the establishment of a Palestinian state next to the state of Israel in the next five years will not change as a result of the developments in the Arab World, 21% believe such chances will increase and 23% believe the chances will decrease.

47% of the Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip believe that there is a need for similar demonstrations in the West Bank demanding regime change and 50% believe no need exists. The percentage of the belief that there is a need for demonstrations in the West Bank similar to those in the Arab World increases in the Gaza Strip (64%) compared to only 36% in the West Bank, among the youth, 18-27 years old, (54%) compared to those over 47 years old (41%), among supporters of Hamas (72%) compared to supporters of Fateh (28%), among supporters of other parties  and those who do not wish to participate in future elections (46% each), and among the those who define themselves as religious (52%) compared to those who define themselves as "somewhat religious" (41%).

 

By contrast, 52% of the Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip believe there is a need for similar demonstrations in the Gaza Strip demanding regime change in that area and 40% believe no need exists. The percentage of the belief that there is a need for demonstrations in the Gaza Strip similar to those in the Arab World increases in the Gaza Strip (67%) compared to the West Bank (43%), among the youth, 18-27 years old (62%) compared to those over 47 years old (38%), among supporters of Fateh (71%) and supporters of third parties (70%), nonaffiliated (50%), those who do not wish to participate in future elections (46%) compared to supporters of Hamas (27%), and among supporters of the peace process (57%) compared to those who are opposed to the peace process (37%), and among those who are "somewhat religious" (57%) compared to those who are "religious" (45%).

 

When asked about their possible participation in such regime-change demonstrations in their respective areas, major differences emerged between West Bankers and Gazans: while 50% of Gazans are ready to participate in demonstrations to demand regime change in the Gaza Strip, only 24% of West Bankers are ready to participate in demonstrations demanding regime change in PA in the West Bank. In the West Bank, the desire to participate in demonstrations to change the regime in the West Bank increases among the youth, 18-27 years old (34%) compared to those over 47 years old (17%). In the Gaza Strip, the desire to participate in demonstrations demanding regime change in the Gaza Strip increases among the youth, 18-27 years old (61%) compared to those over 47 years old (25%).

 

When asked about the most preferred slogan to raise in Palestinian demonstrations, a majority of 51% opted for “people want to end the split,” followed by “people want to end occupation” (24%), and “people want to end corruption” (14%). Four other slogans received 2% each: “people want to end negotiations,” “people want to end Oslo,” “people want an end to security coordination,” and “people want to return to the intifada.” In the West Bank, the slogan "people want to end the occupation" (29%) comes second to ending the split (46%).

 

(2) Al Jazeera Publishes leaked PLO negotiations’ documents:

 

  • 79% believe all or some of what al Jazeera has leaked regarding Palestinian-Israeli negotiations; only 19% believe none of it
  • 49% believe Palestinian negotiators had not been committed to the goals and interests of the Palestinian people and 44% believe they had been
  • 59% are convinced that in releasing the documents, al Jazeera sought to uncover the truth and 62% are not convinced by the PA's response to al Jazeera leaks

 

78% say they have seen or heard, on al Jazeera or other media outlets, about leaked documents published by al Jazeera news TV channel. 79% believe in the truthfulness of all or some of what has been published by al Jazeera regarding concessions made by Palestinian negotiators and 19% do not believe any of it.  About half (49%) believes that the Palestinian negotiating position, as revealed by al Jazeera, was not committed to vital Palestinian goals and interests and 44% believe it has been committed to vital goals and interests. The belief that the PA was committed to vital Palestinian interests and goals increases in the Gaza Strip (49%) compared to the West Bank (41%), among supporters of Fateh (78%) compared to supporters of Hamas (13%) as well as supporters of third parties (40%) the nonaffiliated and those who will not participate in future elections (36% and 35% ), and among the "somewhat religious" (49%) compared to the "religious" (38%), and among students (61%) compared to laborers and merchants (37% and 27% respectively), and among those working in the public sector (51%) compared to those working in the private sector (36%).

 

A majority of 59% believes that the goal of al Jazeera in publishing the leaked documents was to uncover the truth, but 36% believe the aim was to conspire against the Palestinian leadership. Percentage of those who believe that the goal of al Jazeera was to uncover the truth increases in the West Bank (63%) compared to the Gaza Strip (54%), among women (63%) compared to men (57%), among supporters of Hamas (95%) compared to supporters of Fateh (27%), among the "religious" (71%) compared to the "somewhat religious" (51%), and among those who work in the private sector (65%) compared to those who work in the public sector (49%).

 

A majority of 62% believes that the PA response to al Jazeera leaks of the negotiations’ documents was not convincing and 33% believe it was convincing. Percentage of those who believe that the PA response was not convincing increases in the West Bank (67%) compared to the Gaza Strip (54%), among those whose age is over 47 years old (74%) compared to those between the ages of 18-27 (56%), and among supporters of Hamas and those who do not wish to participate in future elections, the nonaffiliated, and supporters of third parties (89%, 70%, 65%, and 64% respectively) compared to supporters of Fateh (34%).

 

(3) Domestic Conditions

 

  • 21% describe conditions in the Gaza Strip as good or very good and 33% describe conditions in the West Bank as good or very good
  • 70% believe there is corruption in the PA institutions in the West Bank and 59% believe there is corruption in the Hamas government in the Gaza Strip
  • 65% believe that there is, or there is to some extent, free press in the West Bank and the percentage regarding the Gaza Strip is 46%
  • 33% believe that people in the West Bank can criticize the PA without fear and only 19% believe that people in the Gaza Strip can criticize the authorities there without fear
  • Perception of personal safety and security stands at 54% in the West Bank and 67% in the Gaza Strip
  • Positive evaluation of the performance of the Haniyeh government stands at 31% and 39% for the Fayyad government; 23% say Haniyeh's government is the legitimate one and 25% say Fayyad's government is the legitimate one
  • Satisfaction with the performance of President Abbas stands at 46% and dissatisfaction at 51%

 

21% describe conditions in the Gaza Strip as good or very good and 56% describe them as bad or very bad. In our last poll, three months ago, in December 2010, 17% described conditions in the Gaza Strip as good or very good and 62% said they were bad or very bad. By contrast, 33% describe conditions in the West Bank as good or very good and 33% describe them as bad or very bad. Three months ago, these percentages stood at 35% and 31% respectively. 70% say there is corruption in the PA institutions in the West Bank while only 59% say there is corruption in the institutions of the dismissed government in the Gaza Strip. These percentages are similar to those obtained three months ago. 65% say there is, or there is to some extent, press freedom in the West Bank and 31% say there is no such freedom in the West Bank. By contrast, 46% say there is, or there is to some extent, press freedom in the Gaza Strip while 42% say there is no such freedom in the Gaza Strip.

 

33% say people in the West Bank can criticize the authority in the West Bank without fear. By contrast, only 19% say people in the Gaza Strip can criticize the authorities in Gaza without fear. These findings reflect an improvement in the situation in the West Bank and lack of change in the Gaza Strip. Since the split between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, in June 2007, these percentages have witnessed gradual and significant decrease. As the table below shows, belief that people can criticize the authorities in the West Bank without fear stood at 56% while 52% believed that people can criticize the authorities without fear in the Gaza Strip.

 

Table: Gradual decrease in belief about the ability to criticize authorities in the West Bank or Gaza Strip since the spilt between the two areas

 

Date

Ability to criticize authorities in the West Bank

Ability to criticize authorities in the Gaza Strip

March 2011

33%

19%

December 2010

27%

19%

September 2010

30%

24%

March 2009

37%

29%

August 2008

47%

42%

September 2007

56%

52%

 

Perception of safety and security stands at 54% in the West Bank and 67% in the Gaza Strip.  Positive evaluation of the performance of the governments of Ismail Haniyeh stands at 31% and Salam Fayyad’s at 39%. Three months ago, these percentages stood at 36% and 43% respectively.  Findings show that the percentage of Gazans who say that political, security, and economic conditions force them to seek immigration to other countries stands at 37%; in the West Bank, the percentage stands at 21%.

 

Percentage of satisfaction with the performance of President Abbas stands at 46% while 51% say they are dissatisfied with his performance. These percentages reflect a decrease in the level of satisfaction with the performance of the president, which stood at 50% three months ago while the level of dissatisfaction stood at 45%. Satisfaction with the performance of the president stands at 39% in the Gaza Strip and 51% in the West Bank. 23% say the government of Haniyeh is the legitimate Palestinian government and 25% say the Fayyad government is the legitimate one. 37% say both governments are illegitimate. These results indicate a decrease in the percentage of those who view the Fayyad government as legitimate.

 

(4) West Bank-Gaza Strip split and how to end it:

 

  • A majority of 52% opposes and 43% support Fayyad's proposal to end the West Bank-Gaza Strip split
  • A majority of 62% blames Fateh and Hamas together for the continuation of the split
  • A decrease in the percentage of the belief that the spilt is permanent show a drop from 39% three months ago to 21% in this poll
  • 43% believe that ending the split requires "regime change" in both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip
  • To end the split, 33% support, and 61% oppose, Abbas' acceptance of Hamas conditions for reconciliation even if this leads to the return of international boycott and sanctions
  • By contrast, to end the split, 47% support and 46% oppose Hamas' acceptance of existing agreements with Israel

 

A majority of 52% opposes and 43% support Salam Fayyad’s proposal to end the West Bank-Gaza Strip split by an immediate unification of the two areas, the formation of a national unity government under the premiership of a prime minister acceptable to Fateh and Hamas, and the maintenance of the status quo regarding security conditions in the Gaza Strip (under Hamas’s control) and the West Bank (under Fateh). Support for the Fayyad proposal stands at 45% in the West Bank compared to39% in the Gaza Strip.  Fateh and Hamas together are responsible for the continuation of the split as seen by 62% of the public, but 15% blame Hamas alone and 15% blame Fateh alone. But when asked about the future of the split if Hamas won new presidential and parliamentary elections, 46% said it would be consolidated, but in a scenario in which Fateh would win such elections, only 25% said the split would, as a result, be consolidated.

After the events in Egypt and the cessation of the Egyptian role in Fateh-Hamas reconciliation, 21% believe that unity between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip will resume soon, 50% believe unity will resume but only after a long time, and 21% believe that unity will never return. These results reflect a significant decrease in the percentage of those who believe that the split is permanent (which stood at 39% three months ago), perhaps due to the increased public and youth demonstrations in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip demanding an end to the split.

 

In order to end the split between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, 43% believe that the regimes in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip should fall, while 16% believe that ending the split requires the downfall of the regime in the Gaza Strip only, and 15% believe it requires the downfall of the regime in the West Bank only. 18% believe that ending the split does not require the downfall of either regime.

 

In order to end the split, 33% support and 61% oppose a proposal whereby president Abbas would accept Hamas conditions for unification even if such a step would lead to the return of international sanctions and boycott. Findings show that 69% view such a step by the president as posing a threat to their own interests and those of the Palestinian people. A majority of 52% believe the chances for the president to take such a step are small or very small while 42% believe chances are high or medium. Support for Abbas' acceptance of Hamas conditions as a way to end the split increases in the Gaza Strip (37%) compared to the West Bank (31%), among those over 47 years old (38%) compared to those between the ages of 18-27 (32%), among supporters of Hamas (56%) compared to supporters of Fateh (23%), among those opposed to the peace process (52%) compared to those who support the peace process (29%), and among the "religious" (43%) compared to the "somewhat religious" (25%).

 

By contrast, a larger percentage (47%) supports and 46% oppose a different proposal whereby Hamas would end the spilt by accepting international conditions imposed after it won the elections back in 2006, including accepting peace agreements with Israel. The lesser opposition to this proposal than to the previous one seems to be due to the fact that a much lower percentage (43%) perceive such Hamas shift as a threat to their interests or to the interests of the Palestinian people. But as in the previous proposal, 53% believe the chances Hamas would take such an initiative are small or very small and only 41% believe the chances are high or medium.  Support for a Hamas initiative to accept agreements with Israel as the means to end the split increases in the West Bank (49%) compared to the Gaza Strip (45%), among men (50%) compared to women (46%), among those between the ages of 18-27 (49%) compared to those over 47 years old (40%), among supporters of Fateh (67%) compared to supporters of Hamas (25%), among supporters of the peace process (55%) compared to those who oppose the peace process (23%), and among the "somewhat religious" (52%) compared to the "religious" (39%).

 

(5) Presidency and Legislative Elections:

 

  • If new presidential elections were to take place today, Abbas would receive 55%, Haniyeh 38%; and if the competition was between Marwan Barghouti and Haniyeh, the former would receive 64% and the latter 31%
  • For vice president, Marwan Barghouti receives 30% while 18% select Ismail Haniyeh, 14% select Salam Fayyad, and 11% select Mustafa Barghouti
  • If new parliamentary elections were to take place today, Fateh would receive 40%, Hamas 26%, all other lists combined 12%, and 22% are undecided
  • 51% believe that Hamas is opposed to holding new parliamentary and presidential elections due to its perception that it cannot work freely and 37% believe it is fear of losing the elections

 

If new presidential elections are held today, and only two were nominated, Abbas would receive the vote of 55% and Haniyeh 38% of the vote of those participating. The rate of participation in such election would reach 58%. These results are similar to those obtained in our pervious poll three months ago. In the Gaza Strip, Abbas receives in this poll 53% and Haniyeh 42% and in the West Bank Abbas receives 56% and Haniyeh 35%. If the presidential elections were between Marwan Barghouti and Ismail Haniyeh, the former would receive 64% and the latter would receive 31% of the participants’ votes. The rate of participation in this case would reach 67%. In the Gaza Strip, Barghouti receives 59% and Haniyeh 36% and in the West Bank Barghouti receives 66% and Haniyeh 28%. These results are similar to those obtained three months ago. Most popular figures selected by the public as possible vice presidents from a list of five provided to respondents are Marwan Barghouti (selected by 30% of the public), Ismail Haniyeh (18%), Salam Fayyad (14%) Mustafa Barghouti (11%) and Saeb Erekat (2%).  These percentages are similar to those obtained by PSR three months ago.

 

If new legislative elections are held today with the participation of all factions, 71% say they would participate in such elections. Of those who would participate, 26% say they would vote for Hamas and 40% say they would vote for Fateh, 12% would vote for all other third parties combined, and 22% are undecided. These results are similar to those obtained three months ago with the exception of the likely vote for Fateh which dropped by four percentage points. Vote for Hamas increases in the Gaza Strip (33%) compared to the West Bank (21%) and among women (28%) compared to men (23%). Vote for Fateh is higher in the Gaza Strip (42%) than in the West Bank (39%), and among men (43%) compared to women (38%). Support for Hamas increases also among those over 38 years old reaching 32% and decreases among those between 18-27 years old to 20%. Fateh's popularity is higher among those between 18-27 years old (44%) compared to those over 38 years old (36%). Hamas is more popular among the "religious" (42%) compared to the "somewhat religious" (15%). Fateh is more popular among the "somewhat religious" (47%) compared to the "religious" (31%). Hamas is more popular among housewives and laborers (30% each) and less popular among students (18%). Fateh is more popular among employees and students (50% and 49% respectively) and less popular among laborers and retired persons (32% and 22% respectively).

 

46% believe that if presidential and parliamentary elections were to be held today, Fateh would win and only 16% believe Hamas would win while 22% believe other factions will win. 51% believe that the reason Hamas is opposed to holding parliamentary and presidential elections today is due to Hamas’ belief that it is not allowed to operate freely in the West Bank or because it believes such elections would not be fair or free, while 37% believe that the reason behind Hamas’ opposition to elections is fear of losing them.

 

(6) Local elections:

 

  • 60% evaluate the performance of their local councils during the last five years as good or very good
  • 51% believe that the upcoming local elections in July will be fair and 38% believe it will not be fair
  • 47% believe that holding local elections in the West Bank will lead to the consolidation of the split; despite this, 61% of the West Bankers say they will participate in those elections

 

60% evaluate the performance of their local councils during the past five years as good or very good and 34% as bad or very bad.  51% believe that the upcoming July local elections will be fair and 38% believe they will not be fair.  47% believe the holding of local elections will consolidate the split and 20% believe it contributes positively to reconciliation while 28% believe that it will have no effect on reconciliation.  46% believe that Fateh will win the upcoming local elections, and 13% believe candidates from the left and independents will win the elections and 20% believe family candidates will be the winners.  61% of the West Bankers say they will participate in the local elections and 35% say they will not participate.

 

(7) Most vital Palestinian goals and the main problems confronting Palestinians today:

 

  • 45% believe that the first most vital goal for the Palestinian people should be to end the occupation and build an independent state; 27% say it should be to insure the right of return, 17% say it should be to build a pious or moral individual and society, and 10% say it should be to build a democratic political system
  • 28% say the most serious problem confronting Palestinian society today is the spread of poverty and unemployment, another 28% say it is the absence of national unity due to the split, 22% say it is the continuation of occupation and settlement expansion, 11% say it is corruption, and 8% say it is the blockade of the Gaza Strip

 

The largest percentage (45%) believes that the first most vital Palestinian goal should be to end Israeli occupation in the areas occupied in 1967 and build a Palestinian state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip with East Jerusalem as its capital. By contrast, 27% believe the first most vital goal should be to obtain the right of return for refugees to their 1948 towns and villages, 17% believe that it should be to build a pious or moral individual and a religious society, one that applies all Islamic teachings, and 10% believe that the first and most vital goal should be to establish a democratic political system that respects freedoms and rights of Palestinians.

 

The largest percentage (38%) believes that the second most vital Palestinian goal should be to obtain the right of return for refuges to their 1948 towns and villages. 25% believe that the second goal should be to establish a democratic political system that respects freedoms and rights of Palestinians, 22% believe that the second goal should be to end Israeli occupation in the areas occupied in 1967 and build a Palestinian state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip with East Jerusalem as its capital, and 15% believe the second most vital goal should be to build a pious or moral individual and a religious society, one that applies all Islamic teachings.

 

The most serious problem confronting Palestinian society today is the spread of poverty and unemployment in the eyes of 28% of the public while a similar percentage believes the most serious problem is the absence of national unity due to the West Bank-Gaza Strip split, 22% believe the most serious problem is the continuation of occupation and settlement activities, 11% believe it to be the corruption in some public institutions, and 8% believe it is the siege and the closure of the Gaza border crossings.

 

(8) The peace process:

 

  • A majority of 69% prefers to have the Rafah border crossing with Egypt, rather than the Gaza border crossings with Israel, open for movement of goods on permanent basis; 27% prefer the opposite
  • 32% support and 63% oppose the attack in the Itamar settlement
  • After the US veto in the UNSC, 69% oppose a large American role in the peace process
  • 56% support and 41% oppose the Arab Peace Initiative
  • 48% support and 50% oppose a Palestinian-Israeli mutual recognition of national identity
  • In the absence of negotiations, 33% prefer going to the UNSC while 25% prefer return to armed confrontations, 18% prefer non violent peaceful confrontations, and 17% prefer dissolving the PA
  • Palestinian attempt to go to the UNSC for recognition of statehood will be met by a US veto according to 75% of the public
  • A unilateral declaration of statehood will change conditions for the better in the eyes of only 24%
  • Peaceful popular revolution against occupation and settlements will succeed in ending occupation and stopping settlement expansion in the eyes of only 31%
  • Two thirds believe that the chances for the establishment of a Palestinian state next to the state of Israel in the next five years are slim or non existent
  • 70% are worried that they or members of their families will be hurt at the hands of Israelis in their daily life or that their land will be confiscated or homes demolished
  • 60% believe that Israel’s long term goal is to extend its state to the whole area between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River and to expel its Palestinian population while 21% believe the goal is to annex the West Bank and to deny political rights to its population. Only 17% believe that Israel’s long term goal is to ensure its security and to withdraw from all or parts of the West Bank.

 

In the context of youth demonstrations in the Arab World and the possible opening of the Rafah crossing with Egypt, we asked respondents whether they prefer to have the Rafah crossing opened for the movement of goods on permanent basis even if that led to the closure of Israeli-Gazan crossings for goods. Findings show that a big majority of 69% prefers and 27% do not prefer to have the Rafah crossing with Egypt open for goods on permanent basis over the opening of the Israeli goods’ crossings with the Gaza Strip on permanent basis. The percentage of those preferring to have the Rafah crossing with Egypt open for goods on permanent basis stands in the West Bank at 73% compared to 63% in the Gaza Strip. The percentage increases among supporters of Hamas (83%) compared to supporters of Fateh (61%), and among those opposed to the peace process (78%) compared to supporters of the peace process (67%).

 

We also asked about attitudes regarding the attack in the settlement of Itamar which took place just before the conduct of the poll and led to the death of a family of five. The poll found that 63% opposed the attack while 32% supported it. The percentage of support for the attack increases in the Gaza Strip (51%) compared to the West Bank (20%), among those between the ages of 18-37 years old (37%) compared to those over 37 years old (26%), among supporters of Hamas (51%) compared to supporters of Fateh (23%), among those opposed to the peace process (46%) compared to supporters of the peace process (28%), among the “religious” (37%) compared to the “somewhat religious” (28%), and among students (35%) compared to laborers (26%).

 

Despite the relatively large majority-opposition to the Itamar attack, 45% believe that if peace negotiations do not resume and if armed confrontation between Palestinians and Israelis erupts, it will help achieve national rights in ways that negotiations could not; 49% do not share this view.

Findings show that in the aftermath of the US veto against the UNSC resolution condemning settlement activities, a majority of 58% opposes a return in the future to the UNSC for a similar resolution. Furthermore, a large majority of 69% expresses opposition to a larger US role in the peace process. In our August 2009 poll, a majority of 61% indicated support for a larger US role in the peace process.

 

A majority of 56% support and 41% oppose the Arab Peace Initiative which calls for Israeli withdrawal to the line of 1967, the establishment of a Palestinian state, and the resolution of the refugee problem based on UN resolution 194 in return for an Arab recognition of Israel and normalization of relations with it. Support for this initiative stood at 54% and opposition at 42% in our last poll in December 2010. Findings also show that 48% support and 50% oppose a mutual recognition of national identity with Palestinians recognizing Israel as the state for the Jewish people and Israelis recognizing Palestine as the state for the Palestinian people after all issues of the conflict have been settled and after a Palestinian state has been established. These figures are similar to those obtained in our last poll in December 2010. In light of the cessation of negotiations with Israel, the public is divided over the best means for ending occupation: 33% prefer to go to the UNSC to obtain recognition of a Palestinian state while 25% prefer return to confrontations and armed attacks against Israel, 18% prefer peaceful, non violent, confrontations, and 17% prefer the dissolution of the PA.

 

Yet, if the Palestinian side decides to go to the UNSC in order to obtain recognition of a Palestinian state, 75% believe that the US will veto such resolution. Moreover, if the Palestinian side is to unilaterally declare independent statehood around the end of 2011, 41% say current conditions in the Palestinian areas will not change while 24% say things will change for the better and 32% say things will change to the worst. If a peaceful popular revolution against occupation is to take place in the West Bank, emulating peaceful popular revolutions in Arab countries like Egypt and Tunisia, such a revolution will be able to end occupation and stop settlement expansion in the eyes of 31% while 66% say it will not be able to do so.  

 

Two thirds believe that the chances for the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel in the next five years are slim or non existent while 32% believe them to be medium or high. Moreover findings show that an overwhelming majority of 70% is worried that they or members of their families would be hurt by Israelis in their daily life or that their land would be confiscated or homes demolished; 30% say they are not worried. Percentage of worry stands at 72% in the Gaza Strip compared to 69% in the West Bank. When asked about their perception of Israel’s long term goals, the largest percentage (60%) indicated that it is to extend its state to the whole area between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River and to expel its Palestinian population while 21% indicated that the goal is to annex the West Bank and to deny political rights to its population. Only 17% believe that Israel’s long term goal is to ensure its security and to withdraw from all or parts of the West Bank. We found little differences between West Bankers and Gazans in their assessment of Israel’s long term goals.

 

 

 

PSR Poll No. 39

17-19 March 2011

 

 

Total

West bank

Gaza Strip

00 )

From among the following satellite news stations, which one you watched most during the last two months? 

1) Al Arabia

21.8

17.9

28.2

 

2) Al Jazeera

52.4

59.1

41.4

 

3) Al Hurra

0.5

0.1

1.0

 

4) Al Manar

1.4

1.4

1.4

 

5) Palestine TV

8.0

8.0

8.0

 

6) Alaqsa

7.2

3.4

13.3

 

7) Do not watch TV

6.0

6.5

5.1

 

8) Others

1.7

2.0

1.2

 

9) Do not have a dish

0.5

0.9

 

 

10) DK/NA

0.5

0.7

0.3

 

Total

West bank

Gaza Strip

01)

In general, how would you describe conditions of the Palestinians in the Palestinian areas in Gaza Strip these days? 

1) Very good

3.5

3.4

3.7

 

2) Good

17.0

16.5

17.8

 

3) So so

19.2

17.5

22.0

 

4) Bad

36.8

39.7

32.1

 

5) Very bad

18.7

15.2

24.4

 

6) DK/NA

4.9

7.8

 

 

Total

West bank

Gaza Strip

02)

In general, how would you describe conditions of the Palestinians in the Palestinian areas in the West Bank these days? 

1) Very good

5.7

5.7

5.6

 

2) Good

27.1

27.2

26.9

 

3) So so

31.3

31.4

31.2

 

4) Bad

23.9

25.6

21.2

 

5) Very bad

9.0

8.8

9.3

 

6) DK/NA

3.0

1.3

5.8

 

Total

West bank

Gaza Strip

03)

Generally, do you see yourself as:

1) Religious

43.5

39.8

49.5

 

2) Somewhat religious

51.7

55.6

45.1

 

3) Not religious

4.7

4.4

5.2

 

4) DK/NA

0.2

0.1

0.2

 

Total

West bank

Gaza Strip

04)

Generally, do you see yourself as: 

1) Supportive of the peace process

66.0

65.6

66.8

 

2) Opposed to the peace process

17.1

16.9

17.5

 

3) Between support and opposition

15.4

15.4

15.5

 

4) DK/NA

1.4

2.1

0.2

 

Total

West bank

Gaza Strip

M1)

Do you think that there is corruption in PA institutions under the control of President Abu Mazin?

1) Yes

70.2

71.2

68.7

 

2) No

18.6

16.6

22.1

 

3) DK-NA

11.1

12.3

9.2

 

Total

West bank

Gaza Strip

M1-1)

Do you think that there is corruption in PA institutions under the control of the dismissed government in the Gaza Strip?

1) Yes

59.0

56.5

63.1

 

2) No

21.3

16.6

29.0

 

3) DK-NA

19.8

26.9

8.0

 

Total

West bank

Gaza Strip

M2)

In your view, is there a press freedom in the West Bank?

1) Yes

23.5

23.6

23.3

 

2) To some extent

41.3

38.2

46.4

 

3) No

30.9

33.5

26.7

 

4) DK-NA

4.3

4.6

3.6

 

Total

West bank

Gaza Strip

M2-1)

In your view, is there a press freedom in the Gaza Strip? 

1) Yes

14.2

12.5

17.0

 

2) To some extent

31.6

25.7

41.3

 

3) No

41.5

42.0

40.7

 

4) DK-NA

12.7

19.8

1.0

 

Total

West bank

Gaza Strip

M3)

In your view, can people in the West Bank today criticize the authority without fear? 

1) Yes

32.6

33.8

30.5

 

2) No

62.6

62.2

63.4

 

3) DK-NA

4.8

4.0

6.1

 

Total

West bank

Gaza Strip

M3-1)

In your view, can people in the Gaza Strip today criticize the authority without fear?

1) Yes

19.4

21.3

16.3

 

2) No

69.2

62.4

80.4

 

3) DK-NA

11.4

16.3

3.3

 

Total

West bank

Gaza Strip

M10)

Would you say that these days your security and safety, and that of your family, is assured or not assured?

1) Completely assured

8.6

5.7

13.5

 

2) Assured

50.3

48.6

53.2

 

3) Not assured

35.5

39.5

28.9

 

4) Not assured at all

5.5

6.3

4.2

 

5) DK/NA

0.1

 

0.2

 

Total

West bank

Gaza Strip

05)

Do current political, security, and economic conditions lead you to seek emigration abroad? 

1) Certainly seek to emigrate

9.3

6.0

14.8

 

2) Seek emigration

17.4

14.6

22.0

 

3) Do not seek emigration

35.2

34.4

36.4

 

4) Certainly do not seek emigration

37.8

44.9

26.0

 

5) DK/NA

0.4

0.1

0.8

 

Total

West bank

Gaza Strip

06)

Tell us how do you evaluate the performance of the dismissed government of Ismail Haniyeh in the Gaza Strip? Is it good or bad? 

1) Very good

8.7

7.3

10.8

 

2) Good

22.5

22.7

22.2

 

3) So so

28.6

24.6

35.2

 

4) Bad

19.7

18.4

22.0

 

5) Very bad

7.3

6.0

9.3

 

6) DK/NA

13.2

21.0

0.4

 

Total

West bank

Gaza Strip

07)

Tell us how do you evaluate the performance of the government headed by Salam Fayyad ? Is it good or bad? 

1) Very good

6.4

7.7

4.2

 

2) Good