Joint Israeli-Palestinian Poll

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The view on the peace process remains marked by pessimism on both sides. This is also reflected in the views of Israelis and Palestinians regarding a quick solution of the conflict in light of the uprising in Egypt.

The joint Israeli-Palestinian poll of March 2011 was focused on the impact of the demonstrations in the Arab world and there influence on possible protests in the West Bank and Gaza. Another topic was the possible creation of a Palestinian state.

Main results

There is a general feeling of pessimism on both the Palestinian and the Israeli side. However, this impression has weakened compared with the last poll in December. Both sides are still skeptical regarding an imminent formation of a Palestinian state. On both sides, the number of people who do not believe in the formation of a Palestinian state in the next five years dropped. For comparison, in December 31% of the Israelis and 32.9% of the Palestinians believed this. Now the same is true only for 28.8% of the Israelis and 28.8% of the Palestinians. On the other side, about 55% of the Israelis consider the likelihood of a final status agreement with the Palestinians as non-existent.

There is another issue that unites both sides. The terror attack in Itamar, which led to the death of five Israeli settlers, is rejected by the vast majority of Palestinians (63%). On the Israeli side, the rejection of settler violence against Palestinians is even greater. 70.8 percent of the Israeli Jews are against such attacks.

Impact of the Egyptian uprising on the Palestinian Territories

One focal point of the poll was the impact of the upheaval in Egypt on the possible formation of a Palestinian state within the next five years. 72.2% of the Palestinians do not believe that the events in Egypt are supporting the establishment of their state. The Israeli, however, see an increased likelihood. Only 59.6% believe that there is no direct impact on the possibility of Palestinian statehood within the next five years.

Another focus was the question of whether protests in Egypt and other Arab countries could trigger demonstrations in the Gaza Strip or the West Bank. Around 54% of the Israelis see the probability for protests in the Gaza Strip against the Hamas regime as non-existent or minimal. Protests in the West Bank against the Palestinian Authority the Israelis consider similarly unlikely (50.6%). But how likely is that he Israeli-Arab population will demonstrate against the Israeli government? 68.7% of Israelis consider this unlikely. In general, 46.6% of the Israelis do not believe that the developments in Egypt and other Arab countries have an impact on a permanent solution of the conflict.

By contrast, the events in the Arab world and particularly the youth demonstrations seem to pose a threat to Hamas in the Gaza Strip rather than to Fatah in the West Bank. 52.1% of the Palestinians believe that there is a need for demonstrations in the Gaza Strip demanding regime change. 46,7% of the Palestinians believe there is a need to demonstrate and demand a regime change in the West Bank. Only 12,9% of the Israelis believe that there is a chance that protests in the West Bank could stop settlement constructions but 31,1% of the Palestinians believe this.

Settlement freeze

Support for an evacuation of most of the settlements as part of a peace agreement with the Palestinians declined further compared with the December poll. Only 38.7% of Jewish Israelis support this compared to 42.7% in the previous poll. Furthermore, only 22.8% of Jewish Israelis believe that the majority of Israelis support a settlement freeze, compared with 27.7% in December 2010.

Talks with Hamas

Negotiations with Hamas as part of an agreement with the Palestinians are unpopular among Jewish Israelis. In the previous poll in December, 50.3% supported talks under those circumstances. Now, only 47.1% of the Israeli Jews are in favor of such talks. However, only 28.5% of the Israeli Jews believe that the majority of Israelis favor such talks. This shows that there is a gap between the self-perception within the Israeli society and the actual opinion of the population.

Sense of security

More than half of the Israelis (54.4%) fear that they or their family could be harmed by Arabs. The Palestinians have a more optimistic sense of security. 58.9% believe that not only their own safety but also the safeness of their family is guaranteed.

Implementation of the poll

The Israeli sample includes 601 adult Israelis interviewed by phone in Hebrew Arabic or Russian between March 17 and 28, 2011. The Palestinian sample size was 1270 adults interviewed in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip in late March. The Joint Israeli-Palestinian Poll was conducted by the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace and the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR), and supported by the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (Jerusalem and Ramallah).

Author

Felix Dane

Publication series

Country Reports

published

Palestinian Territories, April 5, 2011

Joint Israeli Palestinian Poll

Joint Israeli Palestinian Poll