Majority supports internationalization of the Palestinian cause and boycott of Israeli products
The largest proportion: Hamas is to blame for the division
Retreat in satisfaction over the performance of the President and the Prime Minister
Retreat in popularity of Hamas and consistency in support of Fatah
Rise in negativity towards ISIS
The Jerusalem Media and Communication Centre (JMCC) conducted an opinion poll in the West Bank and Gaza Strip between February 25 and March 1, 2015, which included a sample of 1,200 people. The poll showed changes in the level of satisfaction towards parties and leaders, continued support for the internationalization of the Palestinian cause, support for the boycott of Israeli products and blaming Hamas for the division. Meanwhile there was a rise in negative perceptions of ISIS.
Internationalizing the Palestinian cause
The poll showed that the majority, 59.2%, of respondents support efforts to internationalize the Palestinian cause, saying such efforts help to achieve the goals of the Palestinian people in ending the occupation. At the same time, a majority of 69% said they favored the PA’s continued efforts to go to the ICC and for it not to renege in the face of Israeli pressure, represented in halting the transfer of tax revenues. In contrast, 20.5% of respondents said they would rather the PA backtrack on going to the ICC in the wake of Israel halting the transfer of the PA’s tax revenues.
Regarding the economic crisis as a result of Israel’s withholding of tax revenues, which also resulted in PA employees receiving partial salaries, the majority of respondents, 64.1% said Israel was responsible for the crisis, while 16.8% held the PA responsible, 9.4% held international donors responsible and 7.8% held Arabs states responsible.
Gaza: Hamas is to blame for the division
According to the poll, the largest percentage, 34.3% blamed Hamas for the continued division in the PA in contrast with 23.1% who blamed Fatah, 17.8% who blamed both Fatah and Hamas, and 7.9% who blamed Israel. It is noteworthy that the largest proportion of those who put the responsibility of the division on Hamas (42.7%) are from the Gaza Strip in comparison to 29.2% from the West Bank.
There was also a clear setback in those who consider Hamas as the winning side in the recent war, from 57.1% in the October, 2014 poll to 40.4% in this poll. It is also noticeable that the largest proportion, 46.1% of those who considered Hamas as the winning side were from the West Bank, while the percentage was lower, 30.9%, in the Gaza Strip.
In response to the question over who is more responsible for the delay in the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip, 43.3% named Israel. After that, however, public opinion was divided between 16.7% who held the Hamas government in Gaza more responsible and 15.4% who held the PA responsible. It should be noted that the largest proportion of those who held Hamas responsible for the delay in Gaza’s reconstruction (27.1%) were in the Gaza Strip in contrast with 10.4% from the West Bank.
Consensus over a boycott
The poll showed that the overwhelming majority of the Palestinian public supports the boycott of Israeli products in Palestinian markets, with a discrepancy over the details. A majority of 59.2% said they support the boycott of all Israeli products while 15.7% said they support the boycott of products with a local alternative. 7.6% said they support the boycott of settlement products, while 8.5% said they support the boycott of settlement products and products with an alternative, in comparison to only 6.5% who said they do not support the boycott of Israeli products in general.
However, when respondents were asked at the personal level about the boycott, about half of those polled, 48.8% said they boycotted all Israeli products. 20.1% said they boycotted products with an alternative while 7.4% said they boycotted only Israeli settlement products.
Setback for parties and leaders
The poll showed a setback in the percentage of those satisfied with the way President Mahmoud Abbas deals with his job as president of the Palestinian National Authority, from 57% in April of last year, to 50% in this poll. Furthermore, the percentage of those who think the performance of Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah is bad went up from 12.6% in November, 2013 to 26.6% in this poll.
Moreover, the percentage of those who said they would vote for Hamas if PLC elections were held dropped from 29% in October of last year to 22% in this poll, while the percentage of those who said they would vote for Fatah stayed the same at 37.7%. Meanwhile, there was a rise in the percentage of those who said they would not vote for anyone, from 19.1% to 24.6% in the same period.
Negative views of ISIS
The percentage of those who consider ISIS’s advance in Iraq and Syria as negative rose from 70.8% in October of last year to 87.1% in this poll. There was a drop in the percentage of those who consider ISIS’s advance as positive, from 7.6% last October to 3.3% in this poll. Furthermore, the majority of those polled, 51.8% confirmed that ISIS harms the Palestinian cause in comparison to 1.8% who said it serves it, and 37.9% who said it does not affect the Palestinian cause.
TV is first
When respondents were asked what their first and second source of news; the largest proportion (48.4%) said television was their first source. 21.4% said they depended on internet news sites, 16.8% on social networking sites, 8.3% on radio and 2.2% on newspapers. As for the second source of news, radio came in first place at 25.9%, followed by television at 24.3%, social networking sites at 15.7%, internet news sites at 15.4% and finally newspapers at 5.1%.