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last updated Jan. 18, 2010
published Jan. 10, 1999
Poll No. 33, October 1999 - Palestinian Attitudes Towards Politics
Read more:  negotiations, Oslo accords, Palestinian Authority, governance, Palestinian factions, media, public opinion
Summary: Introduction

JMCC’s latest poll, conducted on October 21 -22, 1999, did not show any significant change in the support for the Palestinian-Israeli peace process; the poll also tackled the issue of confidence in local and Arab mass media and the performance of the Palestinian National Authority. The results can be summarized in the following main points:
1- The Political Process:

• When compared with the results of last August polls, results show a consistency in Palestinians’ support to the Palestinian-Israeli peace process, where it reached 58%.

• A majority of Palestinians (70.7%) are optimistic regarding the future in general.

2- The PNA Performance and Palestinian Factions:

• There is a significant increase in the popularity of President Yasser Arafat, where the Palestinians who trust the President rose from (28%) last August, prior to signing Sharm Sheikh Agreement, to (32%) in this poll.

• Regarding the performance of the PNA, there is a slight rise in ratio of Palestinians (63%) who are satisfied with the Authority performance compared with (58.8%) last August.

• Only half of the Palestinians surveyed view improvement in the feeling of self security under the PNA compared with (44.5%) who see their self-security feeling retreating or remaining the same.

• There is a slight decrease in the ratio of Palestinians who do not trust any political or religious figure from (41.3%) last August to reach (29.9%) in October 1999.

• On popularity of Fateh Movement, results show a rise from (28%) last August to (33.8%) this October.

• There is also an increase in Hamas popularity from (8.5%) in August to (11.1%) this October.

3- Mass Media:

• On the independence of the Palestinian media, a minority of the Palestinian people (20.1%) believes that the Palestinian press is independent; moreover, Palestinians surveyed said daily newspapers are more independent than the Radio and the television.

• There is a majority of Palestinians (73%) who believe that having an independent press is a vital need to promote democracy in Palestine while (81.1%) think that the press must have an impact on the government.

• The majority of Palestinians (64.6%) believe that the Palestinian media must be more open to the social and non-political issues.

• Among the TV stations surveyed, the Palestinian TV won the highest (although the figure is still low) ratings (19.8%) in terms of viewers, but the largest ratio of viewers (32.5%) trust the news brought by Al-Jazeera Satellite Channel.

• The majority of Palestinians included in the sample listen to the Israeli Radio (19.8%); however, the ratio of Palestinians who trust the news broadcast by Voice of Palestine is higher (19.8%).

• Regarding newspapers, Jerusalemite Al-Quds daily newspaper got the highest ratings in terms of readers (45.3%) and the highest ratio of confidence (43.3%).
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