Poll No. 20, Part 2
Support for Negotiations; Support for Fateh on the Rise
Analysis of Results
Part One: The Peace Process
Sharp increase in support for negotiations, and low confidence in American policy
- Support for negotiations with Israel increased from 45% last July to 69% today.
- Respondents from Gaza are more supportive (73%) than their counterparts in the West Bank (66%).
- In addition, 64% of the respondents support a lasting solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict based on UN resolutions.
- 72% of those sampled believe that the re-election of President George W. Bush will result in increased pressure on the Palestinian leadership to make concessions to the Israeli position; whereas, 12% think that the re-election of President Bush will reinforce the status quo. About 16% view Mr. Bush’s re-election as a positive push to the peace process.
- 75% believe that the United States is not serious about its calls for the establishment of a Palestinian state.
Part Two: The Aftermath of the Passing of President Yaser Arafat
1. The passing of President Arafat
When people were asked about their expectations of the consequences of Arafat's death, their responses reflected both fear and hope. Some expect an increase in political conflict and an increase in the power of religious groups. Others expect serious institutional reform of the Palestinian Authority.
Data regarding the passing of Arafat are as follows:
A- Greater decentralization of authority, but with political conflict
Peaceful political conflict among the political forces 59%
Distribution of authority among a number of leaders in the PA 54%
Violent conflict among the political forces 39%
B- Increased commitment toward reform versus a decline in services
More interest in institutional reform 54%
An opportunity to reorganize Palestinian institutions; 52%
And improve their performance
More democracy 39%
Decline in the performance of the PA 35%
C- Increase in the power of religious movements
Increase in the power of Islamist groups 59%
Decline in international interest regarding the Palestinian situation 39%
End of the Israeli occupation 20%
2. Palestinian fears after the passing of President Arafat
The following political, social, economic, and security issues represent the fears of those polled.
Issue % saying it is a fear
Continuation of the occupation 80%
Economic decline 74%
Internal security 73%
Use of weapons in resolving conflicts 68%
Continuing division between Gaza and the West Bank 67%
Abandoning Palestinian national rights 60%
Increasing conflict between Palestinian factions 60%
Decline in the performance of the Palestinian Authority 58%
Increasing conflict within Fatah 55%
Part Three: Weapons
- 66% of those sampled oppose the idea of disarming Palestinian militias by the Palestinian Authority, whereas 29% were supportive of the idea.
- In contrast, 70% of the respondents support disarming those with illegal weapons by force if necessary, whereas 27% oppose such an idea.
- A majority of the sample (79%) support a ban on carrying weapons in public areas, events, and funerals.
Part Four: An Evaluation of Fatah and Hamas
The majority of the respondents believe that Fateh represents a more realistic and concrete program compared to Hamas. They believe that Fateh is more capable of implementing social, political, and diplomatic programs.
Part Five: Living Conditions
1- Further deterioration in living conditions
- 7% of Palestinian families in the sample lack a monthly income.
- The monthly income of 31% of Palestinian families is less than $160.00.
- 77% of Palestinian families’ monthly income is less than $385.00.
- 41% of the sample described their family's economic situation as “bad or very bad,” whereas 43% described their family’s economic situation as “fair,” and 16% described it as “good or very good”.
2- Absence of security
- 55% feel insecure about their families and their property, whereas 24% feel secure.
- 47% feel insecure about the future of their children, whereas 28% feel secure.
26% of the sample stated that they are pessimistic about the future, whereas 51% were optimistic about the future. An additional 21% stated that they are neither optimistic nor pessimistic about the future. Moreover, the rate of optimism is higher in Gaza (62%) when compared with the West Bank (45%).
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