PSR - Survey Research Unit: Poll No. 47 - Press Release

1 April 2013  



Palestinian Public Opinion Poll No (47)


Popularity of Hamas and Haniyeh drops and the popularity of Fateh and Abbas rises but pessimism regarding reconciliation prevails once again and a majority believes the new Obama administration will not succeed in reviving the peace process


28-30 March 2013


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 28-30 March 2013. The  period before the poll witnessed the formation of a new Israeli government and a visit by the US president to Israel and Palestine. The period also witnessed the development of a new form of popular resistance against settlements through the establishment of tent encampments in areas threatened by settlement expansion. Reconciliation efforts between Fatah and Hamas failed to make progress despite the fact that the election commission has completed its voter registration campaign in both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. This press release covers public evaluation of the general West Bank and Gaza conditions, elections, reconciliation, public evaluation of the performance of the governments of Salam Fayyad and Ismail Haniyeh, the internal balance of power between Fateh and Hamas, and the views of the public on the most vital Palestinian goals and the main problems Palestinians confront today. It also covers issues related to the peace process, Obama’s visit, and Palestinian options in the confrontation against occupation. 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


Main Findings:

Findings of the first quarter of 2013 indicate a return to pre Gaza war balance between Fatah and Hamas. The popularity of Hamas and Ismail Haniyeh, the prime minister of the dismissed government, drops and Fatah’s popularity and that of president Abbas rises. Last December, the Gaza war gave Hamas and Haniyeh greater credibility and popularity while decreasing that of Fatah and Abbas. Yet, positive evaluation of conditions in the Gaza Strip remains higher than positive evaluation of conditions in the West Bank. Moreover, perception of safety and security remains higher in the Gaza Strip than in the West Bank. Positive evaluation of the performance of the Haniyeh government is much higher than the positive evaluation of the performance of the Fayyad government. Nonetheless, about half of Gazans say they would like to immigrate from the Strip while a little over a quarter of West Bankers say they wish to immigrate.

Findings also indicate a dramatic reversal in the level of optimism regarding the chances for reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas. Indeed, about half of the public believes that a successful reconciliation and reunification requires regime change in both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip or at least in one of the two areas. Furthermore, two-thirds to three-quarters believe that reconciliation is impossible under current conditions in which restrictions are imposed on the freedoms of supporters of Fatah or Hamas or in which no date is set for new elections.

Finally, findings indicate continued pessimism regarding the chances for reviving the peace process in the aftermath of the Obama visit. An overwhelming majority believes that president Obama will not succeed in pressing Israel to freeze settlement construction. Perhaps due to these conclusions, the percentage of those who say that their feelings toward president Obama have changed to the worse is four times higher than the percentage of those who say their feelings have changed to the better.  Given the promised US financial assistance to the PA, a clear majority believes that this support will not be sufficient to resolve the PA’s financial problem but a majority believes that such support might in fact deter the PA from fighting Israel in the international arena including at the International Criminal Court.


(1) Presidential, Legislative, and Local Elections:


(2) Domestic Conditions:


 (3) Reconciliation: 


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


(5) The Peace Process:


(6) Obama’s Visit:


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


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