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Palestinians in East Jerusalem: Satisfied with Israeli Basic Services but no Trust in the State

A Solid Majority of East Jerusalemites Prefers Palestinian or International Sovereignty Over East Jerusalem and three Quarters Prefer to See East and West Jerusalem as an Open City.

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Israeli Basic Services

While an overwhelming majority of the residents of East Jerusalem believes that discrimination in service delivery exists between Arabs and Jews, the majority is satisfied with basic and health services; yet, when problems arise, less than one third of respondents seek help from Israeli governmental offices while the largest percentage says it seeks help from family.

  • They are satisfied or very satisfied with service delivery in areas of electricity (85%), water (79%), sewage system (78%), and telephone services (77%). They are also satisfied with access to medical services (83%), quality of doctors (77%), and access to nearby places of worship.
  • By contrast, Palestinians in East Jerusalem are dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with service delivery in areas of residence taxes/Arnona (69%), ability to obtain building permits (63%), conditions of roads (61%), access to West Bank (59%) level of law enforcement (54%), and income tax (53%).
  • An overwhelming majority of Jerusalemites (87%) believes that discrimination against Arabs exists in service delivery.
  • When asked about the overall living conditions, three almost equal groups emerge: 35% are satisfied, 33% are dissatisfied, and 32% are neither satisfied nor dissatisfied.

Most serious problems

The Wall and military checkpoints pose the most serious problems for East Jerusalem residents with about three quarters traveling less to the West Bank since the erection of the Wall.

  • 94% say that the delays occurred during travel due to the erection of the West Bank wall poses a problem for them.
  • 93% say the delays and restrictions at checkpoints pose a problem.
  • 84% describe the level of crime in the city as posing a problem
  • 78% say corruption of municipal staff poses a problem
  • 69% describe corruption in the Palestinian Authority as a problem
  • 10% say they travel to West Bank daily for work or other purposes. The percentage increases to 37% for travel at least once every week, and to 32% for travel at least once every month.

Political participation

Overwhelming majority of East Jerusalemites did not participate in Palestinian or Israeli elections and will not participate in future Palestinian or Israeli elections even if the Palestinian Authority asked them to do so.

  • If new Palestinian elections are held today, 39% say they would participate and 56% say they would not. 69% say they do not see Palestinian elections bringing them any benefits.
  • With regard to Israeli elections, 8% say they have participated in previous Knesset or municipal elections and 91% say they did not participate.

Permanent Settlement

In a permanent settlement, an overwhelming majority prefers a Palestinian or international sovereignty over East Jerusalem and a small minority not exceeding 6% prefers Israeli sovereignty. Despite this, a little less than two thirds prefer to have a Palestinian citizenship and a quarter prefers to have Israeli citizenship.

  • Sovereignty over East Jerusalem should be Palestinian in the eyes of 52% of the respondents while 27% prefer an international sovereignty and about 7% prefer it to be Islamic or Arab. Only 6% prefer Israeli sovereignty.
  • But when asked if they prefer to have Palestinian or Israeli citizenship in the permanent settlement, only 63% said they want Palestinian citizenship and close to a quarter (24%) said they want Israeli citizenship.

Goals of Israel, the Netanyahu Government, and Jerusalem Municipality

Findings show total absence of trust in the intentions of the state of Israel, the government of Netanyahu, and the Jerusalem municipality: a majority believes the goal of Israel is to annex Jerusalem and the West Bank and expel their residents or deny them their rights, that the goal of the Netanyahu government is to expel Palestinians from East Jerusalem and to replace them with Jews, and that the goal of the Jerusalem municipality is to demolish the homes of Arabs and replace them with Jews.

  • 64% believe that the long term goal of Israel is to extend its borders to cover all the area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea and expel its Arab citizens while 14% say the goal is to annex the West Bank while denying political rights of Palestinian citizens, and 11% say it aims at withdrawing from parts or all the territories it occupied in 1967 after guaranteeing its security.
  • With regard to the long term aspiration of the Netanyahu government, 62% say it is to evict the Arab residents and replace them with Jewish settlers.
  • With regard to the goals of the Jerusalem municipality under Nir Barakat, 66% say it is to demolish Arab homes and neighborhoods, evict Arab residents, and replace them with Jews.

The sample size was 1000 adult Palestinians over the age of 18 in 50 residential locations throughout all occupied East Jerusalem Arab neighborhoods. The poll was conducted during the period of 16-30 July. A time of intense Palestinian-Israeli-American debate on the transition from proximity talks to direct peace talks and on the future of a settlement freeze announced by Israel several months before. The margin of error is 3%. For further details on the Palestinian survey contact PSR director, Dr. Khalil Shikaki, or Walid Ladadweh at tel 02-296 4933 or email This survey was conducted with the support of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Ramallah which funded the entire cost of the poll.

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