Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Majority of Palestinians support Terror

A recent poll conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR) in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip between 26-30 August 2014 does not give us reason for optimism. A majority Palestinians interviewed believe that armed confrontation is the most effective means to establish a Palestinian state next to the state of Israel. A majority also expressed support for terorist acts, including the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers and the launching of rockets into Israel

 Other key findings:

Gaza War:

  • 79% believe that Hamas has won the Gaza War; 3% believe Israel came out the winner; and 17% believe the two sides were losers.
  • 79% believe Israel was responsible for the eruption of the Gaza war; 5% believe Hamas was responsible; and 12% believe the responsibility lies with the two sides.
  • 63% believe that the ceasefire agreement satisfies Palestinian interests, but 34% disagree with that. Moreover, 59% are satisfied with the accomplishment gained in the agreement compared to the human and material losses sustained by the Gaza Strip; 39% are dissatisfied with the accomplishment.
  • An overwhelming majority of 86% support the launching of rockets from the Gaza Strip at Israel if the siege and blockade are not ended.
  • 60% say that Hamas does not launch rockets from populated areas, but 30% say it does. 49% think it is justified for Hamas to launch rockets from populated areas and 46% disagree with that. Percentage of those who believe that launching rockets from populated areas is unjustified increases to 59% among Gazans while standing at 38% among West Bankers.
  • Only 30% believe that Hamas should warn Israeli civilians in the specific targeted areas before launching its rockets; 68% believe it should not do so.
  • 57% oppose disarming armed groups in the Gaza Strip while 25% support such a measure after the ending of the siege and the conduct of elections; 13% support this measure but only after reaching a peace agreement with Israel. In our June 2014 poll, only 33% said it opposed disarming and dissolving armed groups in the Gaza Strip.
  • Despite the current opposition to disarming Gaza groups, a majority of 54% support and 40% oppose Abbas’ position that argues that the reconciliation government must be committed to existing agreements reached between the PLO and Israel and rejects Hamas position that opposes Abbas’ argument.  In our previous poll in June, support for Abbas’ position stood at 59%.
  • Yet, only 43%, compared to 53% last June, agrees with the statement that the inclusion of Hamas into the PLO means an implicit acceptance by Hamas of the PLO peace program and the existing agreements with Israel.
  • About two thirds (64%) believe that Iran, Turkey and Qatar combined have given the Gaza Strip the ability to remain steadfast against Israeli attacks and to be able to continue to launch rockets during the war; only 9% believe Egypt too has contributed to that. Iran comes on top with 28%, followed by Turkey (21%) and Qatar (15%); 25% select other countries or actors.
  • Moreover, only 25% describe Egypt’s role in the ceasefire negotiations as positive while a majority of 52% describe it as negative and 22% as neutral.
  • 94% are satisfied with Hamas’ military performance in confronting Israeli forces; 78% are satisfied with its defense of civilians in Gaza; and 89% are satisfied with its media and communication performance.
  • In an evaluation of the performance of the various Palestinian actors during the war, Prime Minister Rami al Hamdallah comes at the bottom, with 35% giving him a positive rating. The PA comes next with 36%, Abbas with 39%, the reconciliation government with 43%, and the PLO with 44%. On top comes Khalid Mish’al with 78% approval and Hamas with 88% approval. The approval rating for Abbas rises to 49% in the Gaza Strip and drops to 33% in the West Bank. By contrast, Khalid Mish’al’s approval rating drops in the Gaza Strip to 70% and rises to 83% in the West Bank.

Peace Process:

  • Only 47% believe the chances for the resumption of Palestinian-Israeli negotiations are medium or high; 51% believe the chances are low or non-existent.
  • The public is divided over the two-state solution: 49% support it and 50% oppose it. In our last poll two months ago, 54% supported this solution and 46% opposed it.
  • A majority of 53% believe that armed confrontation is the most effective means to establish a Palestinian state next to the state of Israel. Only 22% believe negotiation is the best means to establish a Palestinian state and 20% believe that popular non-violent resistance is the most effective route to statehood.
  • 62% say that the two-state solution is no longer practical due to Israeli settlement expansion and 35% think it is still practical. Yet, only 24% support the alternative one-state solution; 75% reject the one-state solution. These findings indicate a drop in the support for the one-state solution which two months ago stood at 31%.
  • 81% are worried that they could be hurt by Israelis in their daily life or that their homes would be demolished and land confiscated. Only 19% are not worried.
  • An overwhelming majority of 81% believe that Israel’s long term aspiration is to annex the land occupied in 1967 and expel its population or deny them their political rights. By contrast, 63% believe that the long term aspiration of the Palestinian Authority and the PLO is to recover part or all of the land occupied in 1967.
  • 57% of the public say that they supported the June 2014 kidnapping of the three Israelis in the West Bank when that incident took place. Support for the kidnapping reached 67% in the Gaza Strip and only 45% in the West Bank.
  • Similarly, a majority of 54% supported the killing of the three kidnapped Israelis and 42% opposed it. Support for the killing reached 69% in the Gaza Strip and only 42% in the West Bank. 52% of the West Bankers opposed the killing of the three kidnapped Israelis.
  • The public is divided over the identity of those who carried out the kidnapping and the killing of the three Israelis: 32% accuse Israel, 30% accuse Hamas, 21% believe a Palestinian acted on his own, and 2% accuse Fatah.
  •  In the absence of viable negotiations, 85% support joining more international organizations; 84% support joining the International Criminal Court; 62% favor resort to popular non-violent resistance; 60% support a return to an armed intifada; 42% support a dissolution of the PA; and 24% support abandoning the two-state solution in favor of a one-state solution. It is worth mentioning that two months ago only 41% indicated support for a return to an armed intifada.
  • 61% believe that massive popular demonstrations could contribute to ending the Israeli occupation. But a larger majority of 72% favors the transfer of Hamas’ armed approach to the West Bank. Support for emulating Hamas in the West Bank stands at 70% among West Bankers and 74% among Gazans.
Read it all here

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