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last updated Nov. 10, 2010
published Nov. 10, 2010
Poll No. 72, November 2010 - Governance and security
Read more:  economy, governance, security, government institutions, education, interior ministry, Palestinian Authority, Palestinian National Authority
Summary: Ramallah – (Jerusalem Media and Communications Centre JMCC) – The most recent public opinion poll conducted by the JMCC showed that a majority of Palestinians (62.2%) only support the PLO in resuming peace negotiations if Israel were to halt settlement expansion. Some 20.9% said the PLO had to resume negotiations in all cases while 9.4% of respondents said the PLO should not resume negotiations at all.

When asked about President Mahmoud Abbas’ control over Palestinian internal conditions,  a majority (52.8%) said that President Abbas was in total control or in control to some extent while 41.4% said President Abbas was not in control to some extent or had no control whatsoever over Palestinian internal conditions. The poll shows major differences in opinion on this matter as a ratio of 62% of respondents in the West Bank said President Abbas was in full control or was somewhat in control over internal conditions compared to 37.3% in Gaza. 58.4% of respondents in Gaza said the president did not have control at all or somewhat did not have control over internal conditions compared to 31.2% in the West Bank.

The poll, which was conducted in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip on a random sample of 1,200 persons with a margin of error of +/- 3%, showed that there is no change in confidence level of Palestinians in Palestinian public figures; President Abbas remains the most trusted figure gaining the support of 18.9% of respondents followed by Ismail Haniyeh who enjoys the trust of 9.7% of respondents. Marwan Barghouti came in third with a confidence ratio of 6.2% followed by Salam Fayyad who enjoys the confidence of 5.6%. A ratio of 39.1% said they do not trust any one.

With regard to political factions, results indicate that Fatah movement enjoys the highest degree of public trust with 35.3%, followed in popularity by Hamas movement with 13.3%. The PFLP came in third with 3.3%, followed by Islamic Jihad with 1.5%. A ratio of 37.3% of the respondents said they did not trust any faction.

Asked to select the issue of highest importance for the Palestinian people, 22.4% of respondents said the economic situation was the most important issue, while 18% said the internal split between the factions was the issue that most concerned them. A ratio of 15.5% named the occupation as the most important issue, while 9.4% of respondents said the siege on Gaza was the most important issue, followed by the issue of settlements listed first by 6.6% and the question of Jerusalem rated most important by 4.9% of participants.

Respondents’ opinions varied between the West Bank and Gaza Strip on the most important issue concerning the Palestinian people. Nearly 28 percent (27.6%) of respondents in the West Bank said the economic situation was the most important issue while 29.8% of Gazan respondents said the internal split was the most important issue. Conversely, a ratio of 10.9% of respondents in the West Bank said the internal split was the most important issue compared with 13.8% of respondents in Gaza who said the economic situation was the most important issue.

The PNA Performance

The poll also found respondents to be divided over their level of satisfaction with the Palestinian National Authority’s performance. 49.7% of respondents said they are very satisfied or somewhat satisfied compared with 47.5% who said they were somewhat dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with the PNA’s performance.

When comparing responses with respect to different issues of government performance between March 2007 and October 2010, poll results indicate notable improvement in evaluation of security services. The ratio of respondents who believed that the performance of the security services had improved rose from 17.4% in March 2007 to 23.3% in October 2010, while those who believed the performance to be bad declined from 47.9% to 22.3% during the same period.

Evaluation of the performance of the Interior Ministry showed the same trend: those who believe that its performance is good rose from 25.7% to 33.6% and the percentage of respondents who believe that its performance is bad went down from 27.2% to 12.4%.

The same trend can be observed with regard to the Ministry for Social Affairs. The number of responses affirming its performance to be good increased from 22% to 28%; the ratio of respondents who believed that the Department for Traffic and Registration improved its performance rose from 21% to 24.3% during the same period.

On the other hand, the general public regarded the performance of some government institutions to have regressed during the same period; the ratio of those who believe that the performance of the education apparatus was good decreased from 39.1% to 36.8%.

The percentage of those who believed that the performance of Palestine Official TV Station was bad went down from 29.9% to 17.3%. The percentage of respondents who believed that the performance of Voice of Palestine was bad also decreased from 27.6% to 16.9%.

Corruption and Favoritism

The poll showed that the percentage of respondents who believe that there is corruption in the PNA decreased from 87.3% in March 2007 to 75.3% in October 2010. On the other hand, the percentage of Palestinians who think that favoritism and personal connections influence employment in government services increased from 50.7% in March 2007 to 71.6% in October 2010. The ratio of Palestinians who believed that there was favoritism in government post appointments to a large or medium extent rose from 52.9% in March 2007 to 69.4% in October of this year.

The Economic Situation    

The majority of respondents (71.9%) said the economic conditions in the Palestinian Territories were bad or very bad compared with 26.4% who said that the economic conditions were good or very good. Moreover, a majority (52.5%) said economic conditions were expected to deteriorate even more compared with a ratio of 35.8% who expected economic conditions to improve.
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