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last updated Jan. 18, 2010
published Jan. 2, 1998
Poll No. 25, February 1998 - On Palestinian Position and Attitudes Towards the Current Crisis between Iraq and the United States
Read more:  Iraq, US policy, human rights, resistance, Arabs, West Bank, war in Iraq, Palestinian Authority, governance, freedom of expression, public opinion
Summary: Introduction

The results of JMCC’s February opinion poll, on the Palestinian position and attitudes towards the current crisis between Iraq and the United States, can be summarized as follows:

• The majority of the Palestinian people support and sympathize with Iraq in the current crisis.

• Palestinian support for Iraq is based on feelings of sympathy for the Iraqi people and an expression of hostility towards the US and its policies in the region.

• The majority of Palestinians believe that the US adopts a double-standard policy in dealing with crises in the region.

• A slight majority of those interviewed oppose the Palestinian police commander’s order banning demonstrations and marches that could lead to acts of violence and burning flags.

• A majority of Palestinians expects a US attack on Iraq. Only half predict that Iraq will launch missiles against Israel, and only half expressed concern over the possibility of being in danger.

• Levels of support for Iraq are slightly higher in the West Bank than in the Gaza Strip; concern about the danger is slightly higher in the Gaza Strip than in the West Bank. Support for the Palestinian police ban on demonstrations is higher in the West Bank than in Gaza.

• This latest poll (February 1998) was conducted in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip on a sample population of 1,188 persons (over the age of 18).

• The results show 94.1% of those interviewed support and sympathize with Iraq in the current crisis. When asked about the reasons for their support of Iraq, 25.2% said they support Iraq out of sympathy for the Iraqi people; 17.3% support Iraq because they are against the US and its policies in the region; and 4.5% express solidarity with Iraq because they support the Iraqi regime and its president Saddam Hussein.

• A large majority, 80.5%, believe that the United States uses a double standard in its policies toward crises in the region; only 13.1% do not believe that US policy is double-standard, while 6.4% have no opinion on the issue.

• With regard to Palestinian expectations, results showed that 62.3% of those interviewed expect a US attack on Iraq, compared with 33.2% who do not. When asked if they would predict a missile attack on Israel, 55.2% of the sample said they expect a missile attack on Israel, and 42.9% do not. Regarding concerns over the potential danger for Palestinians, 48.5% expressed concern that Palestinians might be in danger if an Iraqi missile attack is launched on Israel; 46.9% did not express any concern on this issue.

• 77.2% of those sampled voiced support to Iraq launching a strike against Israel if the US attacks Iraq.

• Finally, 57.6% oppose the order by Palestinian police on banning demonstrations and marches that can lead to acts of violence and burning flags while 32.7% support the order and 9.7% refused to answer this question. On the position of the Palestinian Authority, 46.2% support the PA position regarding the Iraqi crisis while 25.9% oppose the PA position, and 23.6% are not familiar with the PA position.
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