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Palestinian Public Opinion Poll


PSR (Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research) has published the results of the latest public opinion Poll conducted in the West Bank and the Gaza-Strip. Topics are the unilateral Withdrawal Plan, the Peace Process in general, domestic issues, the Israeli Security Fence and the attitude of Palestinians towards the Checkpoints. The poll was finished before the death of Sheikh Yassin. The next poll will be conducted in June 2004.

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 March 14 and 17, 2004 (before the Israeli assassination of Ahmad Yasin). Total size of the sample is 1320 adults interviewed face to face in 120 randomly selected locations. Margin of error is 3%.

For further details, contact PSR director, Dr. Khalil Shikaki or Ayoub Mustafa, at Tel 02-2964933 or email


(1) Gaza Withdrawal Plan

· About three quarters of the Palestinians welcome Sharon's plan to evacuate 17 settlements in the Gaza Strip and few more in the West Bank and two thirds believe it represents a victory for the armed struggle against occupation, but only one third believes Sharon is serious and will indeed withdraw and 61% believe he is not serious and will not withdraw.

· A majority of 58% prefers to see the PA negotiate with Israel Sharon's withdrawal plan, and 38% prefer to see the withdrawal being carried out unilaterally.

· 41% support and 54% oppose Israeli-Hamas negotiation of Israeli withdrawal from Gaza.

· Withdrawal from Gaza will increase the chances for a peace settlement in the view of 32% and will decrease the chances for peace in the view of 24%.

· In the view of the Palestinians, Sharon's intentions are: first, to push the Palestinians toward internal infighting; second, to consolidate control over the West Bank; third, to frighten the Palestinian leadership of its opposition; and fourth, to maintain a Jewish majority in Israel.

· Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip will lead to a decrease in armed attacks against Israel from the Gaza Strip in the view of 41% and will lead to an increase in such attacks in the view of 30%. In the Gaza Strip, 49% believe it will lead to a decrease in the attacks.

· After the withdrawal and the evacuation of settlements, 54% propose to give homes in settlements to those whose homes have been demolished by Israel, 22% want to give them to refugees, and 13% would like to demolish them.

(2) Separation Wall and Checkpoints

55% believe the building of the separation wall will lead to an increase in armed attacks against Israel. 40% believe the best means for the Palestinians to fight it is by armed confrontations and bombing attacks inside Israel; 27% believe in a ceasefire agreement and return to the peace process; 10% prefer popular non violent demonstrations; and 11% believe going to the international court of Justice is the best means of fighting the wall.

A majority of 61% believes that the International Court of Justice will be biased in favor of Israel and only 26% believe it will be neutral.

41% believe that the best means of fighting Israeli military checkpoints is through reaching a ceasefire and returning to the peace process and 28% believe armed confrontations and bombing attacks are the best means, while 9% have confidence in popular non-violent demonstration.

(3) Peace Process, Reconciliation, Armed Attacks, Hizballah Prisoners' Deal, and the Arab Summit

66% believe the Roadmap has collapsed. Last December, 58% believed it had collapsed; and last October the percentage was 68%.

Wide support for armed attacks: 87% support attacks against Israeli soldiers, 86% support attacks against settlers, and 53% support attacks against Israeli civilians.

Despite that, 84% support mutual cessation of violence and 70% support a Hudna.

67% believe that armed confrontations have helped the Palestinians achieve national rights in a way that negotiations could not.

After reaching a peace agreement and the establishment of a Palestinian state, 74% would support reconciliation between the two peoples, but 42% are convinced that such reconciliation is not possible ever.

80% believe that Hizballah came out a winner from the prisoners' exchange with Israel.

In the occasion of the Arab Summit in Tunis, 86% of the Palestinians believe that they cannot count on Arab States to support them in regaining their rights.

(4) Domestic Issues

Only 20% to 25% believe that Prime Minister Abu Ala' has been able to achieve his four stated objectives of putting an end to internal anarchy, prepare for elections, carry out political reforms, and return to negotiations. Despite the low evaluation, only 39% believe that he should resign and 47% believe he should not.

63% believe Israeli occupation is responsible for the chaos in the Palestinian areas and 25% put the blame on the Palestinian security services and the Palestinian leadership.

70% want to have Palestinian legislative and presidential elections after Israel ends its occupation of Palestinian cities and towns, but 27% support holding them now.

91% support internal and external calls for fundamental political reforms in the PA.

Positive evaluation of Palestinian democracy does not exceed 23%, with 84% believing that corruption exists in the PA, and 94% believing that one can not find a job without a wasta.

Arafat's popularity stands at 38% as the case was last December.

For the office of a vice president, Marwan Barghouti remains at the top with 16%, followed by Abdul Aziz Rantisi with 14%, and Saeb Erikat with 8%.

Fateh's popularity stands at 27% and Hamas at 20%. In the Gaza Strip, Hamas has the support of 27% compared to 23% for Fateh. The popularity of the Islamists combined (Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and independent Islamists) stands at 29% and the percentage of the non-affiliated stands at 40%.


This PSR survey was conducted with the support of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Ramallah.