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Tuesday, March 14, 2017
PCPSR Poll of Palestinians: 76% Palestine not primary interest of Arab

Palestinian Public Opinion Poll No (63) - PRESS RELEASE
http://pcpsr.org/en/node/686

14 March 2017

On the 50th anniversary of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the
Gaza Strip, a majority believes that most of the Arab and European countries
do not stand with the Palestinian people; but the overwhelming majority
believes that God stands with the Palestinians and that the occupation will
end soon or within five to ten years

These are the results of the latest poll conducted by the Palestinian Center
for Policy and Survey Research (PSR) in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip
between 8 and 11 March 2017. Internally, the period before the poll
witnessed the setting of a May 2017 date for holding local elections and
Hamas announced its intentions to boycott them. A novel by a Palestinian
writer was banned by the PA and the license for the Palestinian
Telecommunication Company was renewed without opening the market to
competition. The Israeli government announced big plans for more settlement
construction and the Palestinian president threatened to suspend security
coordination in response to these announcements. Internationally, the Trump
Administration took office in January. This press release addresses these
issues and covers other matters such as Palestinian elections, general
conditions in the Palestinian territories, and reconciliation. It also
covers the peace process and the 50th anniversary of the Israeli occupation
of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Total size of the sample is 1270 adults
interviewed face to face in 127 randomly selected locations. Margin of error
is 3%.

For further details, contact PSR director, Dr. Khalil Shikaki, or Walid
Ladadweh at tel. 02-296 4933 or email pcpsr@pcpsr.org.

Main Findings:

Findings of the first quarter of 2017 show a high level of dissatisfaction
with the performance of President Abbas; in fact, two-thirds demand his
resignation. Nonetheless, if new presidential elections take place today, he
would receive the same level of support as that of Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas’
candidate. Findings also show a decline in the level of support for Fatah
compared to our findings three months ago when Fatah’s popularity rose a
little in light of its successful holding of its 7th Convention.

On other domestic issues, the public is divided into two halves regarding
the banning of a Palestinian novel which the PA claims to contain indecent
language. Two-thirds disagree with the renewal of the license of the
Palestinian Telecommunication Company (PALTEL) without the opening of the
market to competition. We also found that a little over one fifth of the
public goes to private, rather than governmental, hospitals because they
think that the chances for a medical error in such hospitals are lower. A
large minority indicates that they personally or a member of their family
and friends had an experience involving a medical error.

On the 50th anniversary of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the
Gaza Strip, more than half of the public is optimistic about its end soon or
within the next five to ten years; but one third believes that it will last
another 50 years. The public places the blame for the continuation of the
occupation equally on its leadership and on the Palestinian factions and
political parties, but it also places the responsibility on itself. A
majority thinks the standing of Palestine today is worse than it was fifty
years ago and also worse than it was ten years ago. But despite the belief
of the public that most Arab and European countries do not stand with the
Palestinian people, an overwhelming majority believes that God stands with
the Palestinians.

Findings show a slight increase in the level of support for the two-state
solution compared to our findings three months ago, but it is still just
below the 50% mark. Strong correlation exists between the belief in the
viability of the two-state solution and its support: the more viable the
solution, the higher the support. Today, most Palestinians believe that the
two-state solution is no longer viable due to settlement construction.
Still, most Palestinians have not shifted to supporting the one-state
solution; two-thirds continue to oppose it.

The overwhelming majority of the public is dissatisfied with the response of
the Palestinian leadership to the new Israeli plans for settlement
construction. In this context, a similarly large majority believes that
Abbas is not serious about suspending security coordination with Israel.
Abbas announced that if settlement construction continues, he would be
forced to suspend security coordination. The public believes that the most
suitable response to the new Israeli settlement plans should be the
suspending of security coordination and the formal submission of a complaint
against Israel to the International Criminal Court.

(1) 50th anniversary of Israeli occupation:
On the 50th anniversary of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the
Gaza Strip, the public is divided on the future directions: 32% believe the
occupation will last for another 50 years, 24% believe it will end soon, and
29% believe it will end after five to ten years or more.

We asked the public to assess the strength of the role played by four
different Palestinian actors in the struggle to end the Israeli occupation:
(1) the Palestinian leadership, (2) most political parties and factions, (3)
most of the public, and (4) the respondent himself or herself. Respondents
were given three options to choose from: do their best, inadequate, and
negligent role. Only 25% said the leadership is doing its best; 41% said its
role is inadequate; and 32% said it is negligent. Similarly, 26% said most
factions are doing their best; 49% said their role in inadequate; and 23%
said they are negligent. On the other hand, 39% said the public is doing its
best; 44% said its role is inadequate; and 16% said it is negligent.
Finally, 29% assessed their own personal role as doing their best; 40% as
inadequate; and 28% said they are negligent.

44% of the public believe that the standing of Palestine today is worse than
it was 50 years ago. By contrast, 39% believe it is better than it was 50
years ago.

Moreover, 43% believe that the place or standing of Palestine today is worse
than it was 10 years ago and 36% believe it is better than it was 10 years
ago.

A large majority (72%) believes that the Netanyahu government does not take
into consideration or attach importance to Palestinian reaction to its
policies or actions while 26% believe it does take into consideration
Palestinian reaction.

Two thirds (65%) of the public believe that most Arab counties do not stand
often enough with the Palestinian people. A similar majority (66%) believes
that most European countries do not stand most of the time with the
Palestinian people.

But 51% believe that most of the Muslim countries do stand most of the time
with the Palestinian people and 56% believe that most of the peoples of the
world do stand most of the time with the Palestinians.

On the other hand, an overwhelming majority of 94% believes that God stands
with the Palestinian people.

(2) Presidential and parliamentary elections:

64% of the public want president Abbas to resign while 31% want him to
remain in office. Three months ago, 64% said they want Abbas to resign.
Demand for Abbas’ resignation stands at 61% in the West Bank and 70% in the
Gaza Strip.
If president Abbas does not nominate himself in a new election, 33% prefer
to see Marwan Barghouti replacing him, while 20% prefer Ismail Haniyeh;
Mohammad Dahlan 7%; Khalid Mishal, Rami al Hamdallah and Mustapha Barghouti
(5% each); Salam Fayyad 3%, and Saeb Erekat 2%.

Level of satisfaction with the performance of president Abbas stands at 36%
and dissatisfaction at 61%. Level of satisfaction with Abbas stands at 41%
in the West Bank and 29% in the Gaza Strip.

If new presidential elections were held today and only two were nominated,
Ismail Haniyeh and Mahmoud Abbas, the former would receive 47% (compared to
49% three months ago) and the latter 47% (compared to 45% three months ago).
In the Gaza Strip, Abbas receives 46% of the vote (compared to 45% three
months ago) and Haniyeh receives 50% (compared to 51% three months ago). In
the West Bank Abbas receives 47% (compared to 45% three months ago) and
Haniyeh 45% (compared to 47% three months ago).

If presidential elections were between three: Mahmud Abbas, Marwan Barghouti
and Ismail Haniyeh, Abbas would receive 26%, Barghouti 40% and Haniyeh 33%.
If presidential elections were between two: Marwan Barghouti and Ismail
Haniyeh, Barghouti receives 59% and Haniyeh 36%.

If new legislative elections were held today with the participation of all
factions, 69% say they would participate in such elections. Of those who
would participate, 30% say they would vote for Hamas and 36% say they would
vote for Fatah, 11% would vote for all other third parties combined, and 22%
are undecided. Three months ago, vote for Hamas stood at 32% and Fatah at
41%. Vote for Hamas in the Gaza Strip stands today at 34% (compared to 38%
three months ago) and for Fatah at 37% (compared to 40% three months ago).
In the West Bank, vote for Hamas stands at 28% (compared to 29% three months
ago) and Fatah at 36% (compared to 41% three months ago).

(3) Local elections:
Only 42% (41% in the West Bank and 42% in the Gaza Strip) say they will
participate in the local elections which are scheduled to take place in May.
35% say they will not participate and 15% are not sure.
35% believe that the holding of local elections in May will serve the
interests of reconciliation while 22% believe it will not serve it and 34%
believe it will have no impact on it.
About half (49%) of the public believes that Hamas is making a mistake in
its decision to boycott local elections while 31% believe it is not making a
mistake.

(4) Domestic conditions: security, Gaza electricity, banned novel, PALTEL,
medical errors, and others:
Positive evaluation of conditions in the Gaza Strip stands at 11% and
positive evaluation of conditions in the West Bank stands at 25%.
Perception of safety and security in the Gaza Strip stands at 38%. In the
West Bank perception of safety and security stands at 50%. Three months ago,
perception of safety and security in the Gaza Strip stood at 47% and in the
West Bank at 56%.
Findings show that the percentage of Gazans who say they seek to immigrate
to other countries stands at 46%; in the West Bank, the percentage stands at
23%. Three months ago 46% of Gazans and 24% of West Bankers said they seek
to emigrate.
In the West Bank, the largest percentage (44%) places responsibility for the
electricity crisis in the Gaza Strip on Israel, 18% place it on the PA and
president Abbas; only 13% place it on Hamas’ shoulders. By contrast, Gazans
place the responsibility for the crisis on the PA and Hamas equally (31% on
the PA and 30% on Hamas); only 20% place it on Israel.
We asked the public about its viewership habits in the last two months.
Findings indicate that Maan TV viewership is the highest, standing at 16%,
followed by al Jazeera TV (at 15%), Palestine TV (at 14%), al Aqsa TV (at
13%), Filasteen al Youm (Palestine Today) at 12 %, Al Arabiya at 7%, and al
Quds TV and al Mayadeen at 4% each.
Perception of corruption in PA institutions stands at 77%.
Only 38% of the Palestinian public say people in the West Bank can criticize
the PA without fear.
47% view the Palestinian Authority as a burden on the Palestinians while 48%
view it as an asset.
The public is almost evenly divided concerning the banning by the PA of a
Palestinian novel charging that it contains indecent language: 46% approve
the ban and 44% do not.
Two thirds do not agree with the PA decision to renew the license of the
Palestinian Telecommunication Company (PALTEL) without a competitive
bidding; only 24% agree with the PA decision.
38% say that they personally, or one of their family members or friends, had
experienced a case of medical error and 61% say they did not. While 36%
believe that such medical errors occur equally in private and governmental
hospitals, 22% indicate that they go to private hospitals because they think
errors are less likely in them and 23% indicate that despite the danger of
medical errors they still go to governmental hospitals because of the
cheaper costs.

(5) Reconciliation and the reconciliation government:
Optimism about the success of reconciliation and the end of the split stands
today at 27% and pessimism at 67%. Three months ago optimism stood at 35%
and pessimism at 61%.
26% say they are satisfied and 63% say they are dissatisfied with the
performance of the reconciliation government. In the Gaza Strip,
dissatisfaction stands at 74% and in the West Bank at 56%.
Belief that Hamas was responsible for hindering the functioning of the
reconciliation government does not exceed 18% (9% in the West Bank and 33%
in the Gaza Strip) while 34% believe that the PA and president Abbas were to
blame for that and 14% blame the prime minister of the reconciliation
government.

(6) New Israeli settlement plans and the peace process:

We asked the public about the most effective means of responding to the
recent Israeli settlement plans: 25% think it is the suspension of security
coordination with Israel; 24% think it is the submission of a formal
complaint to the International Criminal Court; 19% think it is the
resumption of armed attacks; 19% think it is a strong international
condemnation of Israel, and 14% think it is the organization of popular
non-violent protests.

An overwhelming majority of 77% are dissatisfied, and only 18% are
satisfied, with Abbas’ response to the recent Israeli announcement of plans
for 6,000 new settlement units. In fact, a large majority of 72% believes
that President Abbas is not serious in his threat to suspend security
coordination with Israel if settlement construction continues; only 21%
believe he is serious.

On the two-state solution, the public is divided: 47% support and 51% oppose
it. Three months ago, 44% supported it.

Palestinians are divided into three groups on the most effective means of
building a Palestinian state next to the state of Israel: 34% believe that
negotiation is the most effective; 37% think armed action is the most
effective; and 24% think non-violent popular resistance is the most
effective. Three months ago, 34% said armed action is the most effective
means.

A majority of 60% believes that the two-state solution is no longer viable
due to settlement expansion while 37% believe that it is still viable.

A minority of 32% supports a one-state solution in which Jews and Arabs
enjoy equal rights; 67% oppose the one-state solution. Three months ago,
support for the one-state solution stood at 36%.

70% believe that the chances for creating an independent Palestinian state
alongside the state of Israel during the next five years are slim or
non-existent while 29% believe the chances are medium or high.

The percentage of those who are worried that they would be hurt by Israel or
that their land would be confiscated or homes demolished stands at 71%; 29%
are not worried.

Furthermore, a majority of 52% believes that Israel’s long term aspiration
is to annex the lands occupied in 1967 and expel their population and 32%
believe that Israel wants to annex the West Bank while denying the
Palestinians their rights. 14% believe that Israel’s long term aspiration is
to insure its security and withdraw from all or most of the territories
occupied in 1967.

50% believe that Israel intends to destroy al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of
the Rock and replace them with a Jewish temple; 17% believe that it intends
to divide the plateau on which the two mosques sit so that Jews would have a
synagogue alongside the Muslim holy places. Only 10% believe that Israel is
interested in maintaining the status quo without change.

In the absence of peace negotiations, 77% support joining more international
organizations, 67% support non-violent popular resistance, 51% support a
return to an armed intifada, and 49% support the dissolution of the
Palestinian Authority.

Three months ago, support for a return to an armed intifada stood at 53%.

Few months after the holding of the Paris peace conference, two thirds (67%)
of the public believe that it did not contribute to improving the chances
for Palestinian-Israeli peace; only 21% believe it did.

With Trump in the White House, 38% believe that the new American
administration will aggravate Palestinian-Israeli tensions leading to
escalation in popular and violent confrontations due to the expected
settlement build-up; 33% believe conditions will remain as they are now; 11%
believe the new administration will provoke diplomatic confrontation; only
9% believe it will lead to a renewal of the peace process.

If the Trump Administration called upon the two side to resume negotiations
without any preconditions, a majority of 58% believe that the Palestinian
leadership should reject the call; only 31% believe it should accept it.

(7) The Arab World, ISIS:
76% say the Arab World is too preoccupied with its own concerns, internal
conflicts, and the conflict with Iran and that Palestine is no longer the
Arab’s principal or primary issue or cause. Only 23% think Palestine remains
the Arab’s principal cause.
59% believe that there is an Arab Sunni alliance with Israel against Iran
despite the continued Israeli occupation of Arab land while 29% believe that
the Arabs would not ally themselves with Israel until it ends its occupation
and allows the creation of a Palestinian state.
An overwhelming majority of 92% believes that ISIS is a radical group that
does not represent true Islam and 4% believe it does represent true Islam.
4% are not sure or do not know. In the Gaza Strip, 5% (compared to 4% in the
West Bank) say ISIS represents true Islam.
80% support and 16% oppose the war waged by Arab and Western countries
against ISIS.

(8) Most vital Palestinian goals and the main problems confronting
Palestinians today:
43% believe that the first most vital Palestinian goal should be to end
Israeli occupation in the areas occupied in 1967 and build a Palestinian
state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip with East Jerusalem as its
capital. By contrast, 34% believe the first most vital goal should be to
obtain the right of return of refugees to their 1948 towns and villages, 12%
believe that it should be to build a pious or moral individual and a
religious society, one that applies all Islamic teachings, and 10% believe
that the first and most vital goal should be to establish a democratic
political system that respects freedoms and rights of Palestinians.
The most serious problem confronting Palestinian society today is poverty
and unemployment in the eyes of 27% of the pubic; an identical percentage
believes it is the continuation of occupation and settlement activities; 24%
say it is the spread of corruption in public institutions; 17% say it is the
siege of the Gaza Strip and the closure of its crossings; and 4% say it is
the absence of national unity.

Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR)
Off Irsal street, P.O.Box 76, Ramallah , Palestine , Tel: +970-2-2964933
Fax:+970-2-2964934
email: pcpsr@pcpsr.org

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