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last updated Jan. 17, 2010
published Jan. 4, 1997
Poll No. 19, April 1997- On Palestinian Attitudes Towards Current Issues
Read more:  peace process, negotiations, Palestinian politicians, factions, Palestinian politics, governance, Palestinian Authority, Yasser Arafat, Palestinian Legislative Council, corruption, public opinion
Summary: A comparison of the results between an unpublished JMCC poll on 7 March, 1997 and the current JMCC poll, shows a remarkable shift in the mood of Palestinian public opinion towards various aspects of the ailing peace process.

• In general, the level of trust in the peace process has decreased ever since the intensification of the Israeli settlement policies, particularly on Mt. Abu Ghniem. Compared to last month's unpublished JMCC poll, strong and some opposition to the peace process increased from 18.8% to 23.1%. Moreover, whereas in pervious polls the levels of support (strong or somewhat) for the peace process proved to have remained stable, in the last month support levels declined from 78% to 72.9%.

• Between 7 March and 3 April there has been a clear drop in support for various Palestinian factions, including Hamas. Support fro Fateh, for example declined from 40.6% in March to 38.5% in April. Support for Hamas dwindled from 11.8% to 10.6%. Furthermore, those who said they do not trust any political or religious faction increased from 21.3% to 25.9%.

• Over the last three weeks, trust in Palestinian President Arafat decreased from 47.4% to 43.4%, and the number of Palestinians who said they do not trust any Palestinian leader also increased from 15% to 18%.

• Although the majority of Palestinians oppose military and suicide bombing operations against Israeli targets, a large majority believe that these operations are an adequate response to the current political developments: 39.8% of the respondents said that they support military operations against Israeli targets compared to 47.7% who oppose them. The difference between support and opposition to military operations in the West Bank is very low (41.6% who support compared to 42.7% who oppose), whereas in the Gaza Strip, the difference between those who support military operations and those who oppose them is still about 18.7% (37.0% in Gaza support military operations compared to 55.7% who oppose them). Similar differences are also found between the West Bank and Gaza Strip in regard to suicide bombs, although the level of opposition to suicide operations is higher in both the West Bank and Gaza.

• An increase in Palestinian frustration with the current Israeli measures can be inferred from the level of support to popular protests against Israeli; 62.7% of Palestinian supports the intensification of demonstrations and popular protests. Moreover 31.3% of Palestinians believe that the PA (Palestinian Authority) should encourage these protests, and 37.5% say the PA should not interfere. Only 23.1% of the respondents say that the PA should prevent these popular protests.

• The majority of the Palestinians reject Israeli PM. Netanyahu's proposal to stop the implementation of the interim agreement and to begin with the final status negotiations: 68.0% of Palestinians believe that the Palestinian leadership should not accept the proposal.

• 39.8% of Palestinians believe that the economy is the single most important issue today, while 70.1% of Palestinians believe that the peace process has a negative or very negative effect on their economy.
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