|last updated Nov. 27, 2011 11:21 AM (EST+7)
published Nov. 27, 2011 11:40 AM (EST+7)
Poll No. 75, November 2011 - Perpetuation of the Palestinian Authority and US policy
||polls, Quartet, Palestinian Authority, US policy, US foreign policy, armed resistance, rockets, Palestinian politics, economy, governance, public opinion
|Summary: Majority satisfied with halt of negotiations and UN bid
Consistency in popularity of parties and Palestinian figures
Majority views Quartet as biased towards Israel, and assessment of Obama’s policy at its lowest
Majority supports perpetuation of Palestinian Authority, and sees rockets harmful
Ramallah (JMCC) – A public opinion poll conducted by the Jerusalem Media and Communications Centre showed that the majority of respondents (51.2%) said they were satisfied with the decision of the Palestinian leadership to halt negotiations and resort to the United Nations while 15.1% said they were dissatisfied. In response to a question on how the Palestinian leadership’s UN bid affected their position towards Fatah, almost half of the respondents (46.5%) said they were affected positively while 11.8% said they were affected negatively and 37.1% said they were affected neither positively nor negatively.
Meanwhile, regarding the recent prisoner exchange between Hamas and Israel the majority of respondents (85.6%) said they considered the prisoner swap good while 4.1% said it was bad. The prisoner exchange positively affected the position of the majority of respondents (58.1%) towards Hamas while it negatively impacted the position of a limited number of respondents (3.8%). For 36.3% of respondents, the prisoner exchange neither positively nor negatively affected their position towards Hamas.
Consistency in popularity of factions and parties
The poll showed that the balance of powers between Fatah and Hamas remained the same, with 39.6% of respondents saying they trusted Fatah more compared to (39.2%) in a poll conducted June 2011. Furthermore, 18.6% of respondents said they trusted Hamas compared to 16.6% in the June 2011 poll, that is before the UN bid and the prisoner exchange deal.
As for public figures, 25.5% of respondents said they trusted President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) more than others compared to 22.2% of the respondents in the June 2011 poll. The same applied for Ismail Haniyeh where 13.9% of respondents in this poll said they trusted him more in comparison with 13.6% of respondents in the June poll.
Majority supports perpetuation of PA
Regarding the future and role of the Palestinian Authority, the majority of respondents (65.8%) said it was necessary to perpetuate and maintain the PA while 22.2% said it should be dissolved. In response to the question about the role of the PA and who it serves more, the majority of respondents (62.7%) said it serves the interests of the Palestinian people while 24.6% said it serves the interests of Israel.
The Quartet is biased and its role is negative
The poll showed the public’s negative assessment of the Quartet committee’s role. A plurality of respondents (41.6%) said it played a negative role in the peace process while (15.9%) said it played a positive role. Furthermore, (63.5%) of respondents said the Quartet was biased towards Israel while (5.7%) said it was biased towards the Palestinians.
Obama’s policy at its lowest
The poll showed that the Palestinians’ assessment of US President Barack Obama’s policy is still in continuous retreat and has reached its lowest point; 4.9% of respondents said Obama’s policy would increase the chances for achieving peace after it had been 9.9% in April 2010, 23.7% in October 2009 and 35.4% in June 2009.
Popularity of armed resistance drops
The poll showed an ongoing drop in the public’s support of violent resistance. The majority of respondents (56.3%) opposed the resumption of military operations against Israeli targets compared to 45.5% in April 2008. Furthermore, the percentage of supporters of military operations dropped to 29.3% in this poll after it was 49.5% in April 2008. The same trend was found regarding rockets fired from the Gaza Strip, where there was an increase in the percentage of respondents who found them harmful (40.8%) in this poll after it was 35.7% in April 2008.
Differences between Gaza and West Bank in support for perpetuation of the PA, government and rockets
The poll showed similar opinions between the West Bank and Gaza regarding general political issues and balances of power. However, there were discrepancies in three areas: the performance of the government, the armed resistance and the future of the PA. A plurality of (44.7%) of respondents in the West Bank said the performance of the Fayyad government had improved while 28.7% of respondents in the Gaza Strip said the same thing.
The poll also showed that the percentage of those surveyed in Gaza (71.1%) who want the PA to remain is higher than the percentage in the West Bank (62.7%). Furthermore, 58.8% of respondents in the West Bank said the PA serves the interests of the people while 69.3% said the same thing in Gaza. Also, the poll found that 24.8% of those surveyed in the West Bank said that economic conditions have improved under Haniyah’s government compared with 14.9% who said this in the Gaza Strip.
It is noteworthy that, regarding the question about the harmfulness of rockets, 38.9% of respondents in the West Bank said they were harmful compared to 44% in the Gaza Strip.
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