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last updated Jan. 18, 2010
published Jan. 12, 1999
Poll No. 37, June 2000 - On Palestinian Attitudes Towards Final Status Negotiations and the declaration of the State
Read more:  Palestinian Authority, governance, Oslo accords, Palestinian factions, Palestinian politicians, negotiations, refugees, Jerusalem, borders, settlements, Israeli settlements, public opinion
Summary: Introduction

• Most of the Palestinian people 51.6% do not expect a declaration of the Palestinian state by September.

• Most of the Palestinian people 59.8% do not expect that a final status agreement will be reached by September.

• The Palestinian people are divided on trusting the Palestinian leadership steadfastness in its declared positions in the final status negotiations on Jerusalem, settlements and refugees.

• Trust in Palestinian President Yasser Arafat remains relatively low at 31.8%  while remaining the most trusted figure.

• Trust in Fateh remains low at 34.5% while remaining the most popular faction.

• About 90 percent of the Palestinian people still believe there is corruption within the Palestinian Authority institutions with varied degrees.

• 33.5% believe that the Palestinian leadership should resort to means other than peace negotiations such as confrontations and resistance, if the Palestinian and Israeli sides can't reach a final agreement by September 2000.
The lastest public opinion poll conducted on 23 June 2000 by the Jerusalem Media and Communication Centre (JMCC) showed that the expectations of the Palestinian people regarding the possibility the leadership declares a state is limited and not high.

Only 37.8 percent of those interviewed expected the Palestinian leadership to declare a state while 51.6 percent expected the leadership not to declare a state. This is despite the fact that 48.3 percent see that a state should be declared in any case while 22.3 percent support declaring the state only after clinching an agreement with Israel. There are 21 percent of those interviewed who see declaring or not declaring a state unimportant.

Furthermore, there were lower expectations, but to a greater degree, on the possibility of reaching a final status agreement by the set date of September 2000. Only 17.8 percent said that both sides could reach a final solution in September while 59.8 percent expected that the two sides will not be able to reach a final solution by the set date. Of those interviewed, 19.7 percent found it difficult to expect anything at all.

As for how much the Palestinian people are confident and trust the negotiation performance of the Palestinian leadership and its handling of the current final status talks; it appeared that the extent of trust is low. Only 35.8 percent of those interviewed said they trust the method of managing these negotiations while 54.7 percent said they do not trust and are not confident to the method the leadership manages these negotiations.

Consequently, what affirms the low trust in the leadership is the division of the Palestinian people on their trust that the leadership will hold on to its declared negotiation positions. There are 20.3 percent who said they are very confident of the leadership’s unwavering positions, 28.3 are somewhat confident while 25.3 percent expressed their total non-confidence and 25.3 percent are somewhat not confident.

In regards to the negotiation positions and the public opinion on some of the suggested comprises being talked about in the media, it appeared that the Palestinian people’s tendencies lean more to holding on to the declared positions of the Palestinian people and PLO leadership. When asked about supporting the idea of solving the settlement problem by annexing part of the land where settlements are built to Israel and creating a Palestinian state on the remaining 70-80 percent, only 3.8 percent of those interviewed said this is an acceptable solution. But 64.7 percent rejected this solution while 26.2 percent said they prefer to study this option and think about it prior to making a position on it.

As for the refugee issue, only 10.8 percent said they accept a solution whereas the refugees are naturalized in their host countries and a small number returns through a family reunification program. In contrast, 48.8 percent said this solution is totally rejected and 34.9 percent said they need to think about this option and study it prior to making a position on it.

In respects to the issue of Jerusalem, 6.2 percent of the Palestinians said they will accept a solution keeping the city under Israeli sovereignty while giving the Palestinians a presence in its outskirts such as Abu Dees as well as the holy sites. Meanwhile, the majority, 62.3 percent, considered this solution bad and unacceptable.
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