Palestinians residing in area “B,” area “C,” H-2 in Hebron, and Isolated Jerusalem neighborhoods (excluded by the separation wall) struggle to survive in an environment lacking security and rule of law and hold the Palestinian Authority responsible for their protection 

Findings of two special polls on security and rule of law in West Bank territories, particularly those outside area “A”  

June-August 2016 

The Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR) conducted two special polls during the period between June and August 2016. The two polls focused on conditions of security and rule of law in the West Bank, particularly in areas classified as “B” and “C” and other similar areas. The first poll included all areas of the West Bank; the second was conducted in areas outside the area known as “A” specifically the following: B, C, H2 in Hebron, and isolated East Jerusalem neighborhoods. The goal of the study is to compare security and rule of law conditions in area A with those in areas outside A. Additionally, the study seeks to identify security and rule of law needs in non-A areas. The period in question witnessed significant reduction in the level of popular Palestinian confrontations and stabbing attacks against Israelis. But the West Bank witnessed a rise in the number of internal security breakdowns resulting from security incidents taking place mostly in the northern part, in places like Yabad and Nablus, leading to death of several Palestinians and two security officers. The same period witnessed the launching of several security campaigns carried out by the Palestinian security forces in various West Bank areas including those in B and C areas.

 

For further details, contact PSR director, Dr. Khalil Shikaki, or Walid Ladadweh at tel. 02-296 4933 or email pcpsr@pcpsr.org.

 

Methodology:

All findings indicated in this report were obtained from the two separate West Bank polls mentioned above. The first poll included a representative sample of all West Bankers, including those residing in area A. The second poll was restricted to non-A areas. The first poll was conducted during the period between 2 and 4 June 2016 and the sample was 830 adults interviewed face to face in 83 randomly selected locations.

The second poll was conducted during the period between 4 and 20 August 2016 and sample size was 2107 adults interviewed face to face in 131 randomly selected locations in the following four areas: (1) Area B, where 1170 adults were interviewed in 59 locations; (2) Area C, where 697 adults were interviewed in 60 locations; (3) isolated East Jerusalem neighborhoods (excluded from the city by the separation wall), such as Kofr Aqab, Shufat refugee camp, Qalandia, and others, where 200 adults were interviewed in 10 locations; and (4) H2 area of Hebron, where 40 adults were interviewed in two locations. The sample of the second poll is representative of Palestinian citizens residing outside area A. The margin of error is 3%. The sample of the second poll was reweighted to insure proportional representation of the four areas in question.

 

Main Findings:

The two polls focused on five issues:

  1. A comparative assessment of security and rule of law conditions in area A and those areas outside it.
  2. An assessment of security threats and those related to rule of law confronting Palestinians residing in B, C, and other areas.
  3. Public perception of the role and performance of the Palestinian police and courts in providing protection and enforcing rule of law.
  4. Public perception of the Palestinian judiciary and justice system in non-A areas.
  5. Public attitudes regarding ways and means of assuring security and law enforcement in those areas lacking effective Palestinian police presence.

Findings clearly indicate that West Bank residents of non-A areas feel less safe and secure than those residing in area A. Moreover, residents of non-A areas are less likely to turn to the Palestinian police and more likely to resort to their families than area A residents. Similarly, residents of non-A areas are less likely than residents of area A to trust the ability of the Palestinian judiciary and system of justice to resolve disputes.

Residents of non-A areas complain of various threats that include car theft, drug trafficking, violations of building codes, lack of investment, armed attacks by other Palestinians, and settlers’ violence. Domestic violence against women and denial of women rights are frequently reported by residents. Many indicate that they are afraid to walk out of their homes at night. Indeed, they also report that some of their neighbors have been forced to move out of their areas to more secure areas of the West Bank. Residents of H2 area of Hebron emerge as the most insecure followed by residents of the isolated East Jerusalem neighborhoods. They are also likely to report greater suffering from crimes, such as theft, murder, drugs, and assault, than residents of area B and area C. Other threats reported by residents of non-A areas include delays at Israeli checkpoints, military closures, land confiscation, demolishing of homes, and eviction from homes.

Residents of non-A areas have a great deal of confidence in the Palestinian police and consider it responsible for their protection. They demand the opening of police stations and/or the deployment of daily police patrols in their areas of residence. In places that witnessed recent opening of new Palestinian police stations, residents report significant improvement in security and safety conditions. Residents of area B are most likely to be satisfied with the performance of the Palestinian police while residents of H2 are the least likely to be satisfied. But residents report difficulties in communicating with the Palestinian police and complain of various problems that include, for example, a slow response, a weak follow up, and a lack of privacy when complaining to the police. Many report that women are unable to reach and submit complaints to the police and are less likely to receive protection.

Residents of non-A areas are likely to trust traditional mechanisms of justice than the formal system of justice. They are much more likely to resort to “reform committees” than to courts; mostly because they overwhelmingly believe that the Palestinian courts are very slow in resolving disputes. They also tend to believe that because they live outside area A, they do not receive equal treatment from the justice system.

The overwhelming majority of respondents in non-A areas believe that the deployment of Palestinian police in their neighborhood is sufficient to resolve their problems and insure their security. In the absence of such deployment, they are likely to support alternative mechanisms such as the establishment of local civil guard units that coordinate with and report to the Palestinian police. Some support the establishment of local security units that report to the local councils. In other to strengthen the role and performance of the Palestinian police, residents support extending police jurisdiction so that it can treat East Jerusalem residents the same way it treats all other Palestinians in the West Bank. They also support continued coordination with the Israeli authorities in order to allow the Palestinian police access to roads and areas throughout the non-A areas of the West Bank. 

 

(1) Comparing area A with non-A areas:

  • Perception of personal and family safety and security stands at 52% among residents of area A and 38% among residents of areas outside A (see figure 1 below). Moreover, the percentage of non-A residents who report that security conditions are worsening is higher than the percentage among area A residents (21% to 14%)....More