PSR - Survey Research Unit: Poll No. 23 - Press Release
PSR poll 23

 

26 March 2007

PRESS RELEASE


Palestinian Public Opinion Poll No. (23)


An Overwhelming Majority is Satisfied with the Make-Up of the National Unity Government but the Public is Split into Two Equal Halves with Regard to its Acceptance of the Quartet Conditions and almost Three Quarters are in Favor of the Saudi Initiative


22-24 March 2007

These are the results of the latest poll conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip during March 22-24, 2007. Total size of the sample is 1270 adults interviewed face to face in 127 randomly selected locations. Margin of error is 3%. For further details, contact PSR director, Dr. Khalil Shikaki, or Walid Ladadweh at tel 02-296 4933 or email pcpsr@pcpsr.org.

 

Main Findings:

 

        88% are satisfied with the make-up of the national unity government and 11% are dissatisfied. Moreover, 69% expect the unity government to last at least until the end of the year while 23% expect it to fall before the end of the year.

        48% want the unity government to accept the conditions of the Quartet and 48% does not want it to accept them. If Israel recognizes the unity government, 49% would in this case want the unity government to recognize Israel and 47% would not want it to do so.

        The largest percentage (43%) wants the enforcement of law and order to be the top priority of the unity government, 26% want the top priority to be the ending of the donorís financial sanctions and political boycott, 17% want it to be political reforms and fighting corruption, and 13% want it to be the return to the peace process and negotiations.

        In the aftermath of the formation of the national unity government, public expectations are high: 71% expect improvements in the ability of the government to pay salaries, 69% expect improvements in the enforcement of law and order, 65% expect improvement in economic conditions and the fight against poverty, 65% expect improvement in their personal security and safety, and 65% expect improvement in fighting corruption and introduction of internal political reforms. Moreover, 71% expect the chances for infighting to recede, 67% expect the financial sanctions to ease, and 65% expect a return to Palestinian-Israeli negotiations in the near future. A majority of 54% believes that the formation of the national unity government will lead Hamas to show more flexibility and moderation in its attitude regarding Israel and 18% expect the opposite.

        A small minority not exceeding 13% blames Hamas for the failure of its former government to improve Palestinian conditions while the largest percentage (37%) blames Israel, the international community and the US (25%) or other Palestinian groups such as Fateh (13%).

        A majority of 72% supports the Saudi, or Arab, initiative and 26% oppose it. Moreover, 63% support and 35% oppose mutual recognition of Israel as the state for the Jewish people and Palestine as the state for the Palestinian people after the establishment of a Palestinian state and the resolution of all issues of conflict.

        A majority of 71% support and 27% oppose the conduct of negotiations with Israel by the Palestinian Authority and the unity government with the participation of Fateh and Hamas with the aim of establishing a Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip and about 80% to 90% of the West Bank to be followed by negotiations between the Palestinian state and Israel on the other issues of the conflict such as permanent borders, refugees, holy places, and others.

        A majority of 85% supports and 14% oppose the current ceasefire in the Gaza Strip. Similarly, 84% support and 14% oppose the extension of the current ceasefire to include the West Bank. Despite the high level of support for the ceasefire, only 53% expect it to last while 43% expect it to collapse in the near future.

        If new legislative elections are held today, 37% would vote for Hamas, 43% for Fateh, 11% for other lists, and 8% remain undecided. These results are almost identical to those obtained in our last poll conducted three months ago in December 2006.

        If new presidential elections are held today and the only two candidates were PA President Mahmud Abbas and PA Prime Minister Ismail Hanieh, 47% would vote for Abbas and 46% for Hanieh. These results are almost identical with those obtained in our last poll three months ago. But if the only two candidates were Marwan Barghouti and Ismail Hanieh, Barghouti would receive 52% and Hanieh 43%.

 

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This PSR survey was conducted with the support of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Ramallah.

 

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