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last updated Sept. 9, 2019
published Sept. 10, 2019
Poll No. 95 - Democracy, UNRWA & the Peace Process
Read more:  Mohammed Shtayeh, Mohammed Shtayyeh, government, governance, UNRWA, education, heatlh, Palestinian politics, Fatah, Hamas, Fateh, early marriage, child marriage, polls, public opinion

Palestinians wish for more democracy within parties
A public opinion poll conducted by the Jerusalem Media and Communication Centre (JMCC) in partnership with Friedrich–Ebert-Stiftung (FES) showed that a large majority of respondents, 74.9%, said it was important that members of political parties elect their party leadership on a regular basis, while 25.1% said it was unimportant. At the same time, Palestinians continue to express low levels of trust in political parties and factions. A total of 44.7% of respondents said they do not trust any faction, with mistrust in the West Bank (52.9%) considerably higher than in the Gaza Strip (32.6%). Despite the overall lack of confidence, Palestinians still express the highest levels of trust in Fatah with 28.2% saying they trust them the most (23.4% in the West Bank and 35.3% in the Gaza Strip), followed by Hamas at 11.5% (7.4% in the West Bank and 17.5% in the Gaza Strip).

UNRWA services are deemed necessary by large majority of Palestinian
There is a strong consensus among Palestinians that the services provided by UNRWA are important for Palestinians. UNRWA’s education services are cited as very important by 85% of Palestinians, with an additional 12.5% saying they are at least somewhat important. UNRWA’s health services are viewed similarly, with 86.6% saying they are very important and 11.7% saying they are somewhat important. Environmental services, such as garbage collection (85.3% and 12.2% respectively) are viewed similarly.

Perspectives on negotiations and solutions to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
A plurality of 39.3% of respondents still see the two-state solution as the best method to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with the percentage    of those who prefer the two-state solution in the Gaza Strip considerably higher (46.4%) than in the West Bank (34.5%). Furthermore, 28.8% said they preferred a bi-national state over all of historical Palestine (26.2% in Gaza and 30.5% in the West Bank).

The greater proportion of those polled (40.6%) said peaceful negotiations were the way to achieve the Palestinian people’s goals of ending the occupation and establishing a state. In the Gaza Strip, this percentage was higher, at 46.8%, compared to 36.4% in the West Bank. Meanwhile, 26.8% of respondents said they preferred armed resistance and 21.3% preferred popular nonviolent resistance as the best means of achieving goals.

The majority of respondents (54.5%) said they opposed the idea of a confederation between Jordan and Palestine compared to 45.5% who said they supported it. The percentage of those who support this confederation with Jordan was split between 53.3% who support it only after the establishment of a Palestinian state and 43.6% who support it in any event. There was clear opposition to the idea of a confederation with Israel (84.5%) compared to 15.5% who support it.

Mixed reviews of Ishtayeh government in first 100 days
A plurality of 41.6% of respondents were unsatisfied with the performance of the new government of Prime Minister Dr. Mohammed Ishtayeh 100 days after its formation, as opposed to 37.4% who said they were satisfied with its performance. Half of the respondents, 50.2%, said the most recent government change was neither positive nor negative while 20.8% said it was positive and 13.6% said it was negative.

Around half of the respondents, 53.3%, said they did not know who the current prime minister was, while 45% correctly answered Dr. Mohamad Ishtayeh. Regarding his performance as prime minister, the poll showed that 15.6% of Palestinians said he is doing a good job, while 21.5% argue he is doing a bad job and 38.9% said he is doing an average job.

The performance of the PNA and its institutions   
The poll reflected disparities in the public’s assessment of the performance of the various PNA agencies and institutions. The Palestinian Education system, with 53% saying its performance was good and 12.6% of respondents saying it was bad, was the institution viewed most positively. At the same time, the Council of Ministers, with 23.5% saying its performance was good, as well as the Ministry of Social Affairs (25.3%) were not viewed positively by the majority.

There was also a discrepancy in the public’s assessment of PNA agencies in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. While 55.9% of respondents in the West Bank said the performance of the police was good, only 19.8% said the same in Gaza. Also for the Interior Ministry, 64.2% of respondents in the West Bank said its performance was good in comparison to 30.5% who said the same in the Gaza Strip. Regarding the health system, 47.3% of those in the West Bank said its performance was good in comparison to 29.1% in the Gaza Strip.

Meanwhile, the majority of those polled, 71.8%, said they believed there was corruption in the PNA while 17.5% said there was no corruption. Regarding the future of the PNA, the majority of 69.2% said it should be maintained while 23.2% said it should be dissolved. The difference between the Gaza Strip and West Bank in this regard should be noted, whereby 28.7% said they supported the dissolution of the PNA in Gaza with only 19.4% supporting it in the West Bank.

Palestinian elections and the balance of powers
If elections for the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) were held today, 35.6% of respondents said they would vote for Fatah, 12.3% for Hamas and 2% for PFLP, while 34.5% said they would not vote at all. The difference in electoral tendencies is noticeable between the West Bank and Gaza Strip, with 32.9% of respondents in the West Bank saying they would vote for Fatah compared to 39.6% in the Gaza Strip. On the other hand, 8% of respondents in the West Bank said they would vote for Hamas compared to 18.6% in the Gaza Strip. Likewise, the percentage of those who said they would vote for the PFLP in the West Bank was 1.1% compared to 3.3% in the Gaza Strip. A total of 41.7% in the West Bank and 23.9% in the Gaza Strip said they would not vote at all.

Little interest in Israeli elections
The poll showed that the Palestinian public has little interest in and is not optimistic about the upcoming Israeli elections on 17 September. A majority of 69% of respondents said they were not interested, while 26.5% said they were interested in the elections. When asked what impact these elections may have, 41.1% of respondents said they would have a negative impact on the Palestinian cause, while 7.5% said they would have a positive impact, and 18.8% said their impact depends on the election results.

The Palestinians support the PNA’s position on the Bahrain economic conference
The majority of those polled, 73.8% said they believe the PNA’s position on the Bahrain economic conference was right, while 11.3% said it was wrong. Furthermore, the majority of respondents, 61.3% supported accepting American financial assistance if the United States decided to resume financial assistance to the Palestinian people, compared to 34% who rejected this.

Majority among men and women against marriage for girls under age 18
In response to a direct question about whether they support girls under 18 marrying, the majority of respondents, 81.8% said they did not; that is, 82.4% in the West Bank and 81% in the Gaza Strip. Meanwhile, 18.2% said they supported girls under 18 marrying; that is, 17.6% in the West Bank and 19% in the Gaza Strip. It is noteworthy that females were more opposed to early marriage than males, whereby the percentage of females who are opposed to marriage before 18 years of age was 84.5% compared to 78% of males.

A random sample of 1200 people over the age of 18 was interviewed face- to-face throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip between 31st July and 5th of August 2019. The interviews were conducted in randomly selected homes, and the respondents inside each home were also selected randomly according to Kish tables. The interviews were conducted in 134 sampling points chosen randomly according to population.

Poll No. 95 | August 2019

In the West Bank 715 people were surveyed from the following areas: Hebron: Hebron, Yatta, Idhna, Bani Na’im, Sa’ir, Dura, Surif, Khursa, Imreish, Al-Arrub refugee camp. Jenin: Ya’bad, Jenin, Kafr Ra’I, Silat al-Harithiya, Qabatiya, Deir Abu Deif, Ajja, Umm Al-Tut, Jenin refugee camp. Tubas: Tamun, Tayasir. Ramallah & al-Bireh: Ramallah, Al-Bireh, Beit Liqya, Ni’lin, A’rrura, Ein ‘Arik, Kharbathal Al-Misbah, Beit Reema, Deir Ammar refugee camp. Jericho: Al-Auja, Al- Jiftlik, Ein al-Sultan refugee camp. Jerusalem: Anata, Bir Nabala, Qalandia refugee camp, Beit Anan, Beit Hanina, Shu’fat, Old City, Ras al-Amoud, Kufr Aqab, Al-Sawahra al-Gharbiyeh and Jabal  al Mukaber, Al-Ezariyeh. Bethlehem: Bethlehem, Beit Sahour ,Al-Doha, Al-Ubeidiya, Al-Shawawreh, Al-Duheisheh refugee camp. Nablus: Nablus, Beita, Beit Furik, As-Sawiya, Qaryut, Zeita Jama’in, Asira Al-Qilbliya, Balata refugee camp. Salfit: Az-Zawyeh,  Kifl Haris. Tulkarem: Beit Lid, Deir al- Ghusun, Bal’a, An-Nazala al –Gharbiyeh, Tulkarem refugee camp. Qalqilya: Qalqiliya, Kafr Qadum.

In the Gaza Strip  485 people were surveyed from the following areas: Gaza: Al-Jdaideh, Al-Tufah, Al-Shekh Radwan, Al-Zaytoun, Al-Rimal South, Tal Al-Hawa, Sabra, Al-Rimal North, Al-Shekh Ajleen, Old City, Al-Durj, Al-Naser, Al-Turkuman, Al-Shati refugee camp, Al-Mughraqa ( Aub Middein). Khan Younis: Khan Younis, Bani Suheila, Al-Qarara, Abasan al-Kabira, Abasan al-Saghira, Khan Younis refugee camp. Rafah: Rafah, Rafah refugee camp. Gaza North: Jabalya, Beit Lahiya, Beit Hanoun, Jabalya refugee camp. Deir al-Balah: Deir al Balah, Al-Zawaydeh, Al-Maghazi refugee camp, Al- Nusseirat refugee camp.

The margin of error is ±3 percent, with a confidence level of 95%.

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