Redeployment Agreement, PNA Performance, Prisoners Release, Electoral System, and Other Topics
July 6-9, 1995
This is the eighteenth public opinion poll conducted by the Survey Research Unit (SRU) at the Center for Palestine Research and Studies. The following topics are covered in this poll: redeployment, unemployment, elections, and evaluation of the Palestinian Authority. The SRU has been conducting regular public opinion polls to document an important phase in the history of the Palestinian people and to record the reactions of the Palestinian community with regard to current political events. CPRS does not adopt political positions and does not tolerate attempts to influence the conclusions reached or published for political motives. CPRS is committed to providing a scholarly contribution to analysis and objective study and to publishing the results of all our studies and research. Poll results provide a vital resource for the community and for researchers needing statistical information and analysis. The polls give members of the community opportunity to voice their opinion and to seek to influence decision makers on issues of concern to them.
Here are the main findings of this poll:
- A majority of 56% supports the proposed Palestinian-Israeli agreement on redeployment and transfer of authority to the PNA. Only 29% is opposed to the proposed agreement.
- Some 44% are looking forward to the assumption of control of the Palestinian authority in the West Bank. But 51% say they are "neutral" or have reservations.
- Only 43.5% believe that the Israeli redeployment in the West Bank means that the establishment of the Palestinian State is near, and 39% do not share their view.
- Only 31% evaluate positively the Palestinian authority's management of the negotiations with the Israelis. 29% said it was fair, and 26% said it was weak.
- 38% think the Palestinian leadership performance regarding the release of prisoners is weak; 19% said it is fair, and 36% said it is good.
- 81% of the Palestinians do not trust the Israeli intentions regarding the peace process.
- 64% think that appointments to Palestinian institutions are based on Wasta (family and factional connection).
- 51% supports a proportional representation system, while only 32% supports a majority system.
- Only 68% say they will participate in the elections if and when they occur.
- Support for Arafat is at 49%; dropping from 64% to 52% in the Gaza Strip.
- Support for Fateh is at 44% in the Gaza Strip.
- Nablus residents evaluate positively the performance of the city's municipal council, but Hebron and Gaza City residents evaluate negatively the performance of their cities' municipal councils.
- Unemployment rate is 29%.
Enclosed are the results of the current public opinion poll that has been conducted in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip (see Appendix) and analysis of the results.
The days preceding this poll witnessed an important breakthrough in the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations regarding the Israeli army redeployment in the West Bank. The main points of a possible agreement were published in the local press, and it was expected that the agreement itself would be signed before the end of July 1995. In the few weeks preceding that breakthrough, the following events took place. Palestinian prisoners declared a hunger strike. The strike was accompanied by protest action and street demonstrations in the West Bank resulting in 3 deaths when the Israeli army opened fire with live ammunition on a Palestinian demonstration by anNajah University students. A Palestinian-Israeli confrontation regarding Israeli settlement policy in East Jerusalem led to the Israeli decision to suspend the confiscation of 530 dunams of Arab land in East Jerusalem. Several members of Islamic armed cells belonging to Hamas and Islamic Jihad were killed or assassinated by Israelis during the same period. This period also witnessed the cessation of attacks, against Israeli targets, by Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Meanwhile, the Palestinian authority continued to arrest Islamists accused of planning attacks against Israeli targets. Arms, belonging to Islamists, were found and confiscated. This, however, did not stop talks between the PNA and the opposition. Finally, important student elections took place at Birzeit and anNajah Universities with the main political factions maintaining their strength at the two universities. These elections showed Fateh to be the largest student faction, but opposition forces (Islamists and national opposition) were able, nonetheless, to form a coalition enjoying the support of the majority of the students.
The process of sample selection began with the creation of lists of all locations in the West Bank and Gaza according to district, population size and distribution, and type of locality (city, town, village, and refugee camp). A proportional random sample of locations to be surveyed was selected from these lists. Fieldworkers and researchers created maps for these localities. The sample units (blocks) to be surveyed were selected randomly. Households were selected based on a systematic sampling framework. To select the individual within the selected household to be interviewed, fieldworkers had to flip a coin twice to determine gender and age of the respondent. We received 719 questionnaires from the West Bank and 390 from Gaza, for a total of 1109 interviews with Palestinians 18 years or older. Interviews took place primarily over a four day period, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday July 6-9, and were conducted on a face-to-face basis. The non-response rate is estimated at 7%. Data were processed through the use of SPSS, a computer package that is able to detect illogical answers and other inconsistencies. The margin of error for this poll is less than 3%.
The questionnaire was designed through consultations with experts. A pre-test involving fifty questionnaires was conducted in the Nablus area prior to the poll. The questionnaire instrument includes a large number of demographic variables as indicated in the section on sample distribution. A total of 35*** variables and questions are included in this questionnaire. The section on unemployment that was added recently remained in this questionnaire.
Household Sample Selection
SRU researchers adopted a multi-stage sample selection process. The process of sample selection began with the creation of lists of all locations in the West Bank and Gaza according to district, population size and distribution, and type of locality (city, town, village, and refugee camp). A simple random sample of locations to be surveyed was selected from these lists, as shown in Table 1. Fieldworkers and researchers created maps for these localities. These maps indicated the boundaries, main streets, and clusters of residential neighborhoods in these localities which were further divided into a number of sampling units (blocks) with each unit comprising an average of two hundred housing units. The sample units (blocks) to be surveyed were selected randomly.
Sample Localities Selection*
The Following table lists the localities that were included in the sample for this month.
District (Sample Localities District (Sample Localities
Size/ %) Size/%)
Nablus (113/10.2) Nablus City, Qusra, Tulkarm (92/8.3) Tulkarm City and Camp,
Kabalan, Balata (RC) anNazla asSharkia,
Jenin (88/7.9) Jenin City, Deir Abu Jericho (25/2.3) Jericho
Daief, Kufur Rai,
Arabouna, Jenin (RC)
Ramallah (107/09.6) Ramallah City, al Hebron (126/11.4) Hebron, Beit Kahib,
Bireh, amMazra'a Yatta, Beit Om'ar, Beit
Sharkieh, Beitunia, Oula
Kherbet Abu Falah,
al Jelezon (RC)
Jerusalem (74/6.7) Beit Hanina, atTour, Bethlehem (73/6.6) Bethlahem, Nahalin,
asSouwana, Shu Afat alKhadar, Deheisheh (RC)
Gaza North (66/6.0) Jabalya(Village/RC), Gaza City (152/13.7) asShati, anNasar,
anNazla, Beit Hanoun arRimal, asSadara,
Gaza Middle Dir Balah, Gaza South (67/6.0) Rafah City and Camp
(126/11.4) anNsairat, al
Bureij, Khan Younis,
'Absaan Kabira, Beni
*The fieldworkers conducted interviews in 60 cities, villages, and camps where over 145 sampling units were used.
Households were selected based on a systematic sampling framework. For example, if the fieldworker estimated the number of houses in the sampling unit to be two hundred and is assigned ten interviews, the fieldworker divided the 200 by 10, obtaining 20. Therefore, the fieldworker would conduct the first interview in the 20th house, and the second in the 40th, and so on. Fieldworkers were asked to start their sample selection of housing units from a well-defined point in the area such as a post office, mosque, business, etc. They were asked to report on the direction of their sampling walks. Fieldworkers played an active role in drawing the maps for the localities in the sample and in estimating the number of houses in each block.
To select the individual within the selected household to be interviewed, fieldworkers had to flip a coin twice. The first flip was to choose gender of the respondent and the second was to choose whether the respondent was to be older or younger than forty years. When in the household, fieldworkers would conduct the interview with the person who has the characteristics that they selected in this manner.
We received 719 questionnaires from the West Bank and 390 from Gaza, for a total of 1109 interviews.... More