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last updated June 8, 2011
published June 8, 2011
Poll No. 74, June 2011 - Governance and politics
Read more:  Palestinian politics, Salam Fayyad, Palestinian Authority, government, cabinet, United States, US policy, US foreign policy, Barack Obama
Summary: The public opinion poll conducted by Jerusalem Media & Communications Center showed that the Palestinian people prefer a government of independent figures. When asked if they prefer a government with a majority of its ministers from Fateh, Hamas or independent figures, a majority of the respondents (50.8%) said it prefers a government of independent figures compared with a ratio of 26.5% who said they prefer a Fateh-majority government while a ratio of 12.5% said they prefer a Hamas-majority government.

Regarding the most appropriate figure to head the next unity government, the poll results showed that Dr. Salam Fayyad is the most appropriate figure among the names of figures circulated in the mass media. A ratio of 44.4% said Dr. Salam Fayyad is the most appropriate while a ratio of 12.3% said Jamal al-Khodari is the most appropriate and a ratio of 5.3% said Mazen Sinokrot is the most appropriate followed by Mohammed Abu Shahla who got a support ratio of 3.3% and Mohammed Mustafa got a ratio of 1.8%. A ratio of 23.7% said they don’t trust anyone and a ratio of 9.2% refrained from answering the question.

According to the poll that was conducted during the period between May 31st and June 4th 2011 with a random sample of 1198 persons from the West Bank and Gaza, a majority of respondents (79.1%) said they consider the reconciliation agreement a positive step that serves the national interest while a ratio of 12.4% said the reconciliation agreement would not make any difference. A majority of respondents (81.1%) expressed optimism regarding the implementation of the agreement on the ground. A majority of respondents (76.9%) said the formation of a national reconciliation government of independent figures as stipulated in the reconciliation agreement is a good idea at the current phase compared with a ratio of 13.0% who said the opposite.

The political situation and the United States        

With regards to the general public optimism vis-a-vis the PLO possible step next September to gain recognition of the Palestinian state, the poll results showed that two thirds of the respondents (63.6%) expressed optimism towards this step and the possibility of getting support from the majority of the world countries while a ratio of 30.2% of the respondents said they feel pessimistic regarding the chances to get international recognition. On the importance of such a step, a ratio of 64.6% said it serves the national interest compared with a ratio of 4.6% who said the step will harm the national interest and a ratio of 25.5% said the step will not make any difference regarding the national interest.

The poll shows that the speech of US President Barack Obama made the largest ratio of Palestinians (44.4%) more pessimistic regarding finding a solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict compared with a ratio of 11.2% who said that the speech made them feel more optimistic. A ratio of 43.6% of the respondents said the speech of Obama didn’t make any difference although a ratio of 52.1% said they read or watched one of the recent speeches of Obama regarding the Middle East.

The poll results showed that the general public believes that there is US regression in dealing with the Middle East issues at the current phase. The ratio of those who believe the US retreated in its dealings with the Middle East issues rose to 32.6% in this poll compared with a ratio of 12.8% in the poll conducted in October 2009. Generally speaking, a Palestinian majority of 91.8% still insists that the US is biased towards Israel compared with a ratio of 4.8% who believes that the US is neither biased towards Israel nor towards Palestine.  

Popularity of parties and figures

With regards to the level of confidence in the Palestinian factions, the ratio of those who trust Fatah more rose from 36.2% in April 2010 to 39.2% in this poll. Level of confidence in Hamas also rose from 14.4% in April 2010 to 16.6% in this poll. Along the same lines, the level of confidence in President Mahmoud Abbas increased from 17.8% in April 2010 to 22.2% in this poll. Level of confidence in Ismail Hanniyeh also rose from 11.2% to 13.6%. Marwan Barghouthi maintained his third rank in this poll with a confidence ratio of 6.8% following by PM Salam Fayyad who received a confidence ratio of 6.3%. Ratio of those who don’t trust anyone went down from 32.5% to 28.5%.

On the other hand, the recent political developments have increased the ratio of respondents who are satisfied with the way in which President Abbas is running the PNA from 18.6% in April 2010 to 24.3% in June 2011.  
‘March 15’ youth hope to end Palestinian schism
March 8, 2011
Abbas aides deny president heart trouble report
April 21, 2010
Abbas defends unity deal after US criticism
May 24, 2011

al-Jazeera Int: Dining with Terrorists, Fighting Occupation Pt. 1
al-Jazeera Int: Dining with Terrorists, Fighting Occupation Pt. 2.
Al-Jazeera Int: Riz Khan on a new US approach?
Al-Jazeera Int: Town sees rare Palestinian unity

Palestine Divided
Palestine: Moving Forward - Priority Interventions for 2010
Carnegie Institute: Are Palestinians Building A State?

Newsletter of Good Governance Initiative (English)
Palestine‘s Interim Agreement with Democracy
Foreign Aid and Development in Palestine - Phase I Report

Occupied Palestinian territory (OPT)
Oslo accords
Cairo talks

"Palestinian unity, Israel and the Peace Process", Bitterlemons, Nov. 2, 2008
"US Munitions Delivered to Israel," Amnesty International, April 2, 2009
“Honorary citizenship of the moon” by Amira Hass, Haaretz, January 26, 2009

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