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Public Opinion Poll September 2005, Poll No. 17

Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, Umfrage Nr. 17

Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, Poll No. 17
These are the results of the latest poll conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip between September 7-9, 2005. The poll deals with Palestinian conditions on the eve of the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, the future of the peace process after disengagement, voting intentions and considerations in the upcoming Palestinian elections, and domestic Palestinian conditions. Total size of the sample is 1368 adults interviewed face to face in the West Bank (892) and the Gaza Strip (476) in 120 randomly selected locations. Margin of error is 3%.

On the eve of the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, 84% see it as victory for armed resistance and 40% give Hamas most of the credit for it; but 62% are opposed to continued attacks against Israelis from the Gaza Strip, 60% support collection of arms from armed groups in Gaza, Fateh’s electoral standing improved at Hamas’ expense (47% to 30%), optimism prevails over pessimism, and 73% support the establishment of a Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip that would gradually extend to the West Bank

Three main findings emerge:

(1) The Palestinian public views the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip as victory for armed resistance to occupation; it gives Hamas most of the credit for this achievement.

(2) In the meanwhile, with the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip underway, public top priorities are shifting: focus is now placed on matters of reconstruction and state building such as economic conditions, corruption, and law and order.

(3) The change in priorities is weakening interest in armed resistance and increases demands for its cessation. Moreover, the change in the hierarchy of priorities is weakening the electoral appeal of Hamas and strengthening that of Fateh in anticipation of the upcoming parliamentary elections.