Palestinian Elections and the Hebron Massacre
March 20, 1994
This is the seventh public opinion poll conducted by the Survey Research Unit (SRU) at the Center for Palestine Research and Studies. This poll focuses on the subjects of the negotiations, international protection for Palestinians, settlements, national council elections, and political affiliations. SRU conducts a monthly public opinion poll regarding the peace process, the Declaration of Principles, political attitudes, and elections. The poll results are published independently and with unit analysis in both Arabic and English. They provide a vital resource for the community and for researchers needing statistical information. The polls give members of the community opportunity to voice their opinions and to seek to influence decision makers on issues of concern to them. They also serve as a historical record of Palestinian attitudes at the various political stages.
This poll presents a record for Palestinian sentiments in the Occupied Territories and a document expressing a decisive phase in the history of the Palestinian people after the massacre at the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron, which resulted in the death of more than fifty Palestinians and the wounding of at least 200 others, according to Palestinian sources. Subsequent protests resulted in more deaths, injuries, and curfews.
It should be pointed out here that the interviews for this poll were conducted on the 20th of March (Sunday), less than one month after the massacre. It was obvious that the reaction was still strong in the Occupied Territories, where demonstrations and clashes continued. Here, it is important to mention some important events that took place on the same day which had an influence on the results and the fieldwork process:
- Hebron was still under curfew
- Ramallah experienced strong clashes and curfew was imposed on the center of town during the morning
- Nablus was the site of big demonstrations, stone-throwing, and teargas
- Armed clashes occurred in Gaza City and in other areas throughout the Strip
- On the political track, the PLO continued to refrain from participation in the official negotiations with Israel in protest to the massacre. The PLO put the conditions of settler evacuation from Hebron, their disarming, and procedures to protect Palestinians on its return to the negotiations.
At the same time, and after waiting nearly one month, the UN Security Council reached a decision on Resolution 904. The resolution called for protection and security for the Palestinians and the presence of international observers in Hebron. It also called for the application of the Fourth Geneva Convention in the Occupied Territories, including Jerusalem. The Resolution demanded that Israel make all arrangements to confiscate settler weapons..... More