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last updated Jan. 18, 2010
published Dec. 1, 2000
Poll No. 39 Part I, December 2000 - On Palestinian Attitudes Towards Politics including the Current Intifada
Read more:  al-Aqsa intifada, resistance, armed resistance, suicide bombings, Arabs, Oslo agreement, negotiations, Palestinian factions, Palestinian politicians, governance, Palestinian Authority, peace process, elections, public opinion
Summary: Introduction

• The majority of Palestinians (70.1%) support the Intifada while 17.8% opposed the continuation of the Intifada. Moreover, 54.5% of those interviewed believe in the need to have both popular and military forms of the Intifada, while 15.5% supported the only popular form of the Intifada and 18.5% only supported the military form of the Intifada.

• A slight majority (52%) believes that the best means to achieve the national goals is through having both the Intifada and the negotiations continue at the same time, while 28.4% view that the national interest stipulates the continuation of the Intifada only, but 21.1% saw the national interest is only in the continuation of the negotiations.

• The poll also showed a notable increase in the support of military and suicide operations. A large majority believes that military operations constitute an appropriate response under the current political conditions compared with 35.7% in a poll conducted in March 1999. Another significant change lies in the increasing support to suicide operations; 66.2% of the Palestinian people believe that the suicide operations are an appropriate response under the current conditions compared with 26.1% in March 1999.

• As for the impact of the Intifada on the Palestinian public opinion regarding the Oslo Accords, the level of support for the Oslo Accords went down to its lowest mark (39%) compared with 57.9% in June 2000, and 64.5% in May 2000, and 74.9% in December 1996, where it was the highest.

• The most striking result is the change in the level of popular trust in the Palestinian political and religious figures; the ratio of those who trust President Arafat went down the most since it reached only 25.7% in this poll compared with 31.8% in June 2000 while the level of trust in Sheikh Yaseen rose to 12.2% from 6.1% in June 2000. Moreover, the name of Marwan Barghouthi appears for the first time as the most trusted Palestinian figure who gained a percentage of 2.6% while Dr. Haidar Abdul Shafi got 3.6% and Saeb Erekat 4.2%. However, the percentage of Palestinians who do not trust any Palestinian figures remained unchanged at 31.9%.

• Regarding the level of trust in the political and religious factions, Fateh Movement maintained the same level of confidence at 32.1% compared with 34.5% in June 2000 while the level of support for Hamas Movement rose to 19.2% compared with 12% in June 2000. Those who do not trust any Palestinian political or religious faction decreased to 28.1% compared with 37.3% in June 2000.

• Regarding the performance of the PNA, 55.5% said they are satisfied with the Authority’s performance compared with 60.7% in June 2000 and 71.4% in November 1997 which was the highest.

• The poll showed that the majority of the Palestinian people are dissatisfied with the level of Arab solidarity with the Intifada; 60.5% of the sample said they are not satisfied with the Arab solidarity while 39% said they are satisfied.

• With regards to the upcoming Israeli elections, the poll showed that both candidates Barak and Sharon are bad in the eyes of the majority of the sample; only 4.1% said they prefer a government under the leadership of Sharon while 6.6% prefer a government to be headed by Barak. The overwhelming majority (86%) said there is no difference between both candidates; this figure constitutes a significant increase in the percentage of Palestinians who see no difference between the Labor and Likud Parties in Israel when compared with 50.2% in March 1999.

• Regarding the US mediation role in the peace process, an overwhelming majority (95.1%) believe that the US is biased towards Israel while only 3.1% believe the US is neutral.
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