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last updated Jan. 18, 2010
published Jan. 8, 1999
Poll No. 32 Part I, August 1999 - On Palestinian Attitudes Towards Politics
Read more:  negotiations, Oslo accords, Palestinian Legislative Council, Palestinian Authority, law, judicial system, Palestinian security, Palestinian politicians, Palestinian factions, Jerusalem, governance, public opinion
Summary: Introduction

JMCC’s latest poll, conducted on 26, 27 August 1999, prior to the signing of Sharm Sheikh agreement, shows a decline in optimism among Palestinians regarding peace chances during Barak’s reign. The results confirm the Palestinian constant position that Palestinians reject any solution that does not end the Israeli control over Jerusalem.

• The majority of the Palestinian people (59%) believe that three months after Barak assumed power in Israel, there seems no improvement in opportunities to achieve peace in the region compared with (50%) of Palestinians who thought in March 1999 that Barak winning the Israeli elections will not improve conditions towards achieving peace. Moreover, (19.7%) of Palestinians believe that peace chances have narrowed further since Barak took office while (17.8%) believe peace chances are better now.

• The issue of Jerusalem in the final-status negotiations received no less attention amid the Palestinian public opinion. (93.7%) of Palestinians oppose any solution that keeps Jerusalem as the unified capital of Israel, even if this issue constitutes the final obstacle facing a Palestinian-Israeli peace treaty. As for the best solution of this issue, (48.9%) said Jerusalem must be the capital of Palestine while (24.3%) said Jerusalem must be the capital of the Islamic nation. (10.4%) of Palestinians believe that East Jerusalem must be the capital of Palestine and West Jerusalem must be the capital of Israel. (6.7%) demanded that Jerusalem become international while (5.1%) said Jerusalem should remain unified but a capital for two states. On PA attention and care towards Jerusalem, (17.5%) said the PA does not give attention to Jerusalem while (44.5%) said the PA attention and care are not enough. (33.3%) believe that the PA gives due attention and care to Jerusalem.

• The most notable result is the change in public opinion regarding the popularity of Fateh Movement and President Yasser Arafat among Palestinian figures. Ratio of Palestinians who support Fateh decreased from (37.6%) last March to (28%) this month. The same trend occurred in the popularity of President Arafat with ratio moving down from (38.8%) last March to reach (28%) this September. The decrease in popularity of Fateh Movement and President Arafat accounts for the notable increase from (31%) last March to (41.3%) of Palestinians who do not trust any faction. In addition, (42.2%) of Palestinians do not trust any Palestinian leader compared with (26.8%) last March.

• Regarding the performance of the PA apparatuses, (58.8%) of the Palestinian people see the performance of the PA ranging between good and very good while (34.3%) of the respondents believe the PA performance is somewhere between bad and very bad. (6.9%) did not respond to this question. On the performance of the PLC, (51.3%) of the Palestinian people consider it good or very good while (36.7%) viewed it as bad or very bad, a decrease by 3% compared with a similar question last March. As for the PA security apparatuses, (8.5%) believe their performance is very good; (45.6%) view it as good; (21.9%) view it as bad and (15.3%) view it as very bad. (8.7%) did not answer this question.

• On the role of the judicial system in Palestine, nearly half of the respondents (47.7%) view it as good and very good while (24.3%) believe the role of the judicial system in Palestine is bad.

• Meanwhile, the majority of the Palestinian people (71.1%) still believe there is widespread corruption in the PA apparatuses compared with (4.2%) who do not see any corruption in the PA apparatuses while (17.6%) believe that corruption is limited.

Finally, the poll tackled the issue of NGOs where (19.2%) of Palestinians said they are members in NGOs, including (25%) are members in sports and youth organizations. On their role in the society, (29.4%) believe they have a good or very good role in the Palestinian society while (9.3%) believe their role is bad or very bad. (34.2%) said they do not know enough about those NGOs.
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