Palestinian Political Attitudes Towards Elections and Other Issues of Concern

January 16, 1994

This is the fifth public poll conducted by the Center for Palestine Research and Studies (CPRS). Similar to the previous polls, this poll deals with issues of concern to Palestinians such as elections, voting patterns, political affiliation, the peace process, and other pertinent political and economic issues. These polls are conducted by the Survey Research Unit at CPRS, and are intended to provide scientific data and analysis on Palestinian attitudes to researchers, policy markers, and concerned individuals and parties.Moreover, CPRS believes these polls provide a democratic mechanism that enables Palestinians to voice their opinions about various issues of concern to them.


The present poll was conducted on the 16th of January, two days after the killing of five Palestinians by the Israeli military in Hebron and Gaza. A limited strike and mourning had been declared (January 15-18) in the West Bank and Gaza. A curfew imposed by the Israeli military on Hebron ended the morning of the day that the poll took place. At the same time, Palestinian and Israeli negotiators were still debating the details of a possible agreement with no news significant progress, and somewhat indifferent to, the Palestinians were frustrated with the Palestinian-Israeli Declaration of Principles (DOP). Support for the DOP had already fallen to 41% in December 1993 (as compared with 65% in September).

The Surveys and Polls Unit provides an analysis of the results of this most recent public opinion poll that has been conducted in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. In addition to this analysis, the Policy Analysis Unit at CPRS is in the process of preparing a study on Palestinian Opposition and its future opitions. This study will be released in the coming few days. CPRS plans to continue its study of Palestinian political attitudes. It will conduct a monthly poll on elections, political agreements, political affiliation, and other important topics.



CPRS researchers are constantly trying to refine and improve the validity of the research methodology and the reliability of the collected data. Towards these ends, fifty-four well-trained field workers were instructed to visit areas (interview stations) that attract a wide range of social groups and strata. These stations included, among others: bus/car stations that lead to villages and refugee camps, main markets, city centers, the entrances of mosques, hospitals, universities, .., etc.

So far, the majority of our data collectors have participated in a number of workshops where the goals of the poll were discussed. They were also lectured on sampling techniques, survey methods, scientific research, and field work. Data collectors worked in groups supervised by qualified researchers. CPRS researchers made random visits to interview stations and female so as to ensure the representation of women in the sample. All interterviews took place on the same day and were conducted on a face-to-face basis. Data collectors were assigned a limited number of interviews (an average of 30) to allow for careful and intensive interviewing. Data were processed through the use of SPSS, a computer package that is able to detect illogical answers and other inconsistencies.

As to the questionnaire instrument, it was constructed by several Palestinian social scientists and researchers. As an attempt to identify the possible voting patterns of "independents" and "others", the question on political affiliation was revised from previous polls to include the following choices:, the "nationalist independents", "Islamic independents", "no one", and "other political organizations (specify)"..... More