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For about a week now we have been given little “snippets” of information from a poll conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research– Palestinian Public Opinion Poll No (27) The bits of information provided seem to indicate that the Palestinian people do not want anything to do with peace. The full poll was released yesterday and after taking a look (H/T IRMA)as Barack Obama might say, ” the sound-bites don’t tell the full story”–It is MUCH WORSE. At the very least it indicates that Abbas is NOT the true representative of the Palestinians and the Palestinian PEOPLE support terror:

  • Abbas has a lower approval rating than Olmert—ZERO
  • Hamas has made major gains in public opinion since the Egyptian fence breakthrough
  • Hamas is more popular than Fatah in Gaza, and almost as popular in the West Bank
  • Haniyeh’s popularity today is the highest ever registered since Hamas’s electoral victory in January 2006
  • 64% support launching rockets from the Gaza Strip against Israeli towns and cities such as Sderot and Ashkelon.
  • 84% support the attack that took place in a religious school in West Jerusalem

More Detailed Results Follow:


Domestic Balance of Power:
  • The gap between the standing of Fateh compared to the standing of Hamas decreases significantly in three months from 18 percentage points to 7. If new parliamentary elections were to take place today, Hamas would receive 35%, Fateh 42%, other electoral lists combined 12%, and 11% remain undecided. This represents a significant increase in Hamas’s popularity compared to December 2007 when it received 31% compared to 49% to Fateh, 10% to other lists and 11% undecided.
  • Hamas is more popular in the Gaza Strip reaching 40% compared to 31% in the West Bank. Fateh’s popularity is slightly greater in the Gaza Strip, reaching 43% compared to 41% in the West Bank.
  • The gap between the standing of Abbas compared to the standing of Haniyeh decreases significantly in three months from 19 percentage points to almost zero. If new presidential elections were to take place today, Mahmud Abbas and Ismail Haniyeh would receive almost equal number of votes, 46% for Abbas and 47% for Haniyeh. Abbas’s popularity stood at 56% and Haniyeh’s at 37% last December.
  • However, if the competition was between Marwan Barghouti and Haniyeh, the former would receive 57% and the latter 38%. Moreover, the percentage of non-participation would decrease from 34% (if the competition was between Abbas and Haniyeh) to 24% (if the competition was between Barghouti and Haniyeh).

Hamas is more popular in the Gaza Strip reaching 40% compared to 31% in the West Bank. Fateh’s popularity is slightly greater in the Gaza Strip, reaching 43% compared to 41% in the West Bank. Hamas is also popular among women (37%) compared to men (33%), in refugee camps (43%) and cities (36%) compared to towns and villages (30%), among the religious (42%) compared to the “somewhat religious” (29%), among those opposed to the peace process (72%) compared to those supportive of the peace process (25%), among those who would be strongly opposed to buying a lottery ticket, the most traditional, (55%) compared to those most willing to buy a lottery ticket, the most untraditional, (12%), and among those between the ages of 38 and 47 years (42%) compared to the young, 18-27 years of age, (31%). The gap between the standing of Abbas compared to the standing of Haniyeh decreases significantly in three months from 19 percentage points to almost zero. If new presidential elections were to take place today, Mahmud Abbas and Ismail Haniyeh would receive almost equal number of votes, 46% for Abbas and 47% for Haniyeh. Abbas’s popularity stood at 56% and Haniyeh’s at 37% last December. It is worth mentioning that during the breaching of the Rafah border with Egypt, Abbas’s popularity dropped to 51% and Haniyeh’s increased to 43%. Haniyeh’s popularity today is the highest ever registered since Hamas’s electoral victory in January 2006. Performance and Legitimacy of Two Governments:

  • Findings show continued decrease in the level of satisfaction with the performance of Abbas and a greater positive evaluation for the performance of Haniyeh’s government over the performance of Fayyad’s government.
  • Findings show depreciation in the legitimacy of Fayyad’s government and a significant rise in public perception of the legitimacy of Haniyeh’s government. 49% say Haniyeh should stay in office as prime minister while 45% say he should not. Last September only 40% said Haniyeh should stay as prime minister. By contrast, today only 38% say Fayyad’s government should stay in office and 55% say it should not. Support for Fayyad’s government stood at 49% last September.
  • Similarly, 34% say Haniyeh’s government is the legitimate Palestinian government and only 29% say Fayyad’s government is the legitimate one. 9% say both governments are legitimate and 24% say both are illegitimate. Last December, belief that Fayyad’s government was legitimate stood at 38% and belief that Haniyeh’s government was legitimate stood at 30%.
  • Despite the fact that the majority continues to reject Hamas’s June 2007 violent takeover of the Gaza Strip, only a small minority believes that Hamas alone is responsible for the continued political split between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
  • Perception of personal and family security and safety diminishes considerably in the West Bank declining from 44% last December to 32% in this poll.

Findings show continued decrease in the level of satisfaction with the performance of Abbas and a greater positive evaluation for the performance of Haniyeh’s government over the performance of Fayyad’s government. Satisfaction with the performance of Abbas stands today at 41% and dissatisfaction at 56%. Satisfaction with Abbas’s performance stood at 50% last December and 46% during the breaching of the Rafah border with Egypt. Moreover, only 30% say that the performance of the Fayyad government is good or very good and 42% say it is bad or very bad. By contrast, 39% say the performance of the Haniyeh’s government is good or very good and only 34% say it is bad or very bad.
Similarly, findings show depreciation in the legitimacy of Fayyad’s government and a significant rise in public perception of the legitimacy of Haniyeh’s government. 49% say Haniyeh should stay in office as prime minister while 45% say he should not. Last September only 40% said Haniyeh should stay as prime minister. By contrast, today only 38% say Fayyad’s government should stay in office and 55% say it should not. Support for Fayyad’s government stood at 49% last September. Similarly, 34% say Haniyeh’s government is the legitimate Palestinian government and only 29% say Fayyad’s government is the legitimate one. 9% say both governments are legitimate and 24% say both are illegitimate. It is noticeable that Haniyeh’s government receives greater public legitimacy both in the West Bank (32% to Haniyeh’s compared to 26% to Fayyad’s) and the Gaza Strip (37% to Haniyeh’s compared to 34% to Fayyad’s). It is also worth mentioning that this is the first time that Haniyeh’s government has received greater public legitimacy than Fayyad’s. Last December, belief that Fayyad’s government was legitimate stood at 38% and belief that Haniyeh’s government was legitimate stood at 30%.
Despite the fact that the majority continues to reject Hamas’s June 2007 violent takeover of the Gaza Strip, only a small minority believes that Hamas alone is responsible for the continued political split between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Rejection of Hamas’s violent takeover stands today at 68% and acceptance of the takeover at 26%. Rejection of the takeover stood at 73% last September. Acceptance of Hamas’s takeover increases in the Gaza Strip reaching 33% compared to 23% in the West Bank. However, only 17% believe that Hamas alone is responsible for the continued split between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and in fact 21% say Fateh alone is responsible for the continued split. A majority of 54% believes that both Hamas and Fateh are responsible for the continued split. The tendency to avoid blaming Hamas alone for the continuation of the split reflects a change in public perception regarding the positions of the two factions regarding return to dialogue as an exit from the current crisis. Support for Fateh’s and Abbas’s position, which demands a return to the status quo ante as a precondition to dialogue drops from 46% last September to 39% in this poll. Support for Hamas’s position, which calls for unconditional dialogue, increases from 27% to 37% during the same period. Peace Process:

  • 66% support and 32% oppose the Saudi initiative which calls for Arab recognition of and normalization of relations with Israel after it ends its occupation to Palestinian territories occupied in 1967 and after the establishment of a Palestinian state.
  • 55% support and 44% oppose mutual recognition of Israel as the state for the Jewish people and Palestine as the state for the Palestinian people as part of a permanent status agreement.
  • But 80% believe that the negotiations launched by the Annapolis conference will fail while 14% believe it will succeed.
  • Moreover, 68% believe that the chances for the establishment of a Palestinian state during the next five years are non-existent or weak and 30% believe chances are fair or high.
  • 75% believe that the meetings between Mahmud Abbas and Ehud Olmert are not beneficial and should be stopped while only 21% believe they are beneficial and should be continued.
  • 64% support and 33% oppose launching rockets from the Gaza Strip against Israeli towns and cities such as Sderot and Ashkelon.
  • An overwhelming majority of 84% support and 13% oppose the bombing attack that took place in a religious school in West Jerusalem. Support for this attack increases in the Gaza Strip (91%) compared to the West Bank (79%).

Findings show that despite the significant shift in the balance of power in favor of Hamas and despite the increased belief in the legitimacy of the Hamas government and its superior performance, public attitude regarding a political settlement based on a two-state solution remained stable during the last three months. Findings show that two thirds of the public support the Saudi peace initiative which calls for Arab recognition of Israel and its right to live in secure borders and normalization of relations with it after it withdraws from the Arab territories occupied in 1967 and after the establishment of a Palestinian state and the resolution of the refugee problem in a just and agreed upon manner. 32% oppose this initiative. Last December, support for the Saudi initiative stood at 65% and opposition at 32%. More importantly, findings show an increase in the level of support for a settlement in which there would be a mutual recognition of Israel as the state for the Jewish people and Palestine as the state for the Palestinian people as part of a permanent settlement. Support for such mutual recognition of identity stands today at 55% compared to 49% and opposition at 44% compared to 49% last December. But the findings show total lack of confidence in diplomacy with 80% saying that negotiations launched by the Annapolis conference will fail while only 14% believe it will succeed. Similarly, findings show that more than two thirds (68%) believe that the chances for the creation of an independent Palestinian state living next to Israel in the next five years are none-existent or weak while 30% believe chances are medium or high. Belief that chances are none-existent or weak increases in the West Bank (72%) compared to the Gaza Strip (62%), among those opposed to the peace process (85%) compared to supporters of the peace process (61%), and among supporters of Hamas (71%) compared to supporters of Fateh (57%). This pessimism regarding the future of the diplomatic process pushes three quarters of the public to believe that the meetings between Abbas and Olmert are not beneficial and should be stopped while only 21% believe they are beneficial and should be continued. Pessimism about diplomacy also leads people to search for alternative means to end the occupation with findings showing about two thirds (64%) supporting the continued launching of rockets from the Gaza Strip against Israeli towns and cities such as Sderot and Ashkelon while only 33% oppose that. A poll conducted by PSR in December 2006 (#22) found that 48% of the public at that time believed that launching rockets at Israeli towns was useful for Palestinians while an identical percentage believed it was not useful. Finally, findings show a significant increase in the level of support for armed attacks against Israeli civilians inside Israel with 67% supportive and 31% opposed. Average support for such attacks on Israeli civilians stood at 40% in 2005 and 55% in 2006. Findings also show wide-spread support for the suicide attack that took place in the Israeli town Dimona and led to the death of one Israeli woman, with support standing at 77% and opposition at 19%. The armed attack on a religious school in West Jerusalem which led to the death of eight Israeli students is supported by 84% and opposed by 13%. Support for similar suicide attacks inside Israel dropped significantly during 2005 with only 29% supporting a suicide attack that took place in Tel Aviv and 37% supporting another one in Beersheba. But support for such attacks increased in mid 2006 as a suicide attack in Tel Aviv at that time received the support of 69% and the opposition of 27%.

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