Palestinian Elections, Participation of Women, and Other Related Issues


 April 1994

This is the eighth public opinion poll conducted by the Survey Research Unit (SRU) at the Center for Palestine Research and Studies. This poll focuses on elections and the participation of women in elections, issues of Israeli settlements, and Palestinian refugees. SRU conducts a monthly public opinion poll to document an important phase in the history of the Palestinian people and to record the reactions of the Palestinian community on 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. 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 and analysis. 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.

Enclosed are the results of the most recent public opinion poll that has been conducted in the West Bank (including Arab Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip.



General Background


This poll was conducted on Tuesday, April 19, 1994, following a month of political events on all levels. Some of these events are described below.

-There was contradictory information about progress in the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations. On the one hand, an agreement was reached at the end of March in Cairo calling for speeding up the pace of the negotiations. Later on, Yassir Abed Rabo said that the negotiations had reached a dead end. At the same time, other members of the Palestinian and Israeli delegations were talking about progress in the negotiations and expected agreement to be reached soon. Despite the postponement of the implementation of the DoP, some Israeli military and police forces were withdrawn from Gaza and Jericho and a group of fifty Palestinian deportees returned on the 5th of April. There were also some announcements that the Palestinian police were about to arrive and some officers did indeed arrive.

-Hamas claimed responsibility for a number of military attacks against Israeli targets inside the Green Line. The first occurred on April 6, and resulted in the death of eight Israelis and the wounding of several others. Following this incident, the Israeli authorities tightened the closure on the Occupied Territories, beginning the 8th of April, where no Palestinian workers were allowed to go to work inside Israel. This restriction caused further harm to the already deteriorating economic situation of the Occupied Territories, especially among the working class. In spite of the closure, a supporter of Hamas bombed an Israeli bus near Hadera, killing six Israelis. Occupation authorities had already begun a massive arrest campaign against activists and supporters of Hamas and Islamic Jihad. The Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin, warned the Jordanian government not to continue granting refuge to Hamas, which the Jordanians denied having done.

-On the level of Palestinian internal affairs, there was talk about coordination beginning between Hamas and Fateh. Different Palestinian factions, especially Hamas, called for dialogue, national unity, and democratic means for resolving internal differences. At the same time, the number of martyrs and Palestinians injured at the hands of the Israeli army and settlers increased. Among the martyrs was Mrs. Fatima Abdullah who was killed in her home and who was the mother of one and three months pregnant at the time. Furthermore, the house of Mr. Mohammad al-Wahaidi, a leader of Fateh, was destroyed by the army. Mr. al-Wahaidi is the father of Abeer al-Wahaidi who was sentenced to 19 years in prison for charges of armed resistance against the occupation.

-One of the important events in that period, especially in the Hebron area, was the visit of Reverend Jesse Jackson to the Occupied Territories.

This is a summary of many of the events that occurred during the month preceding the poll that are believed to have had certain influence on general Palestinian opinion in the Occupied Territories.... More