RAMALLAH, November 9 (JMCC) - Some 44 percent of Palestinians are worried some or a great deal about being mistreated or abused by someone in the Palestinian security forces, found a poll published Wednesday by the Jerusalem Media and Communications Centre.
At the same time, the percentage of respondents who believe the performance of the security forces is good has risen from from 17.4 percent in March 2007 to 23.3 percent in October. Those who saw their performance as poor declined from from 47.9 percent to 22.3 percent over the same period.
The poll seemed to illustrate a society that is deeply ambivalent about the role of its security services. When asked if Palestinian security services had too much power, 66.4 percent of respondents in the West Bank
strongly or mildly agreed, while 69.1 percent in the Gaza Strip
strongly or somewhat agreed.
Control of the Palestinian security forces has been divided between the Gaza Strip and West Bank since the Islamic movement Hamas
took over Gaza security installations in June 2007.
More than half of all respondents (56.4 percent) said they agreed somewhat or a great deal with the statement that Palestinian security forces are controlled by Israel
. Fewer Gazans felt this way (47.3 percent) as compared with respondents in the West Bank (61.9 percent).
At the same time, 56.6 percent of respondents agreed somewhat or strongly that the Palestinian security services are helping to realize an independent Palestinian state.
The poll which was conducted in the West Bank and Gaza Strip with a random sample of 1,200 persons and a margin of error of three percent.