PSR - Survey Research Unit: Poll No. 37 - Press Release


PSR Poll No. (37)

04 October 2010

 

PRESS RELEASE

 

Palestinian Public Opinion Poll No (37)

 

After Israeli Return to Settlement Construction: Two Thirds of the Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip Want the Palestinian Side to Pull Out of the Direct Talks

 

30 September- 02 October 2010

These are the results of the latest poll conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR) in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip between 30 September and 2 October 2010. The poll was conducted directly after the end of the Israeli moratorium on settlement construction and during Palestinian debate on the future of direct talks. Few weeks before the conduct of the poll, Hamas carried out an armed attack near Hebron leading to the death of four Israeli settlers. This release covers issues related to the direct talks, the withdrawal of government cars from senior civil servants, current conditions in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, elections, future of reconciliation, Hamasís attack on settlers, and others. Total size of the sample is 1270 adults interviewed face to face in 127 randomly selected locations. Margin of error is 3%. While press release covers public response to the resumption of settlement construction as well as domestic Palestinian issues, other issues related to the peace process and Israeli-Palestinian relations will be covered in a separate joint Palestinian-Israeli press release and later in our detailed report on the poll. For further details, contact PSR director, Dr. Khalil Shikaki, or Walid Ladadweh at tel 02-296 4933 or email pcpsr@pcpsr.org.

 

Main Findings:

 

Findings of the third quarter of 2010 show a clear majority of two thirds demanding a Palestinian pull out of the direct negotiations now that settlement construction has been resumed. Findings also show that a little over half of the public supports Hamasís armed attack on Israeli settlers near Hebron, that attack took place on the eve of the Washington launching of the direct talks. It is worth noting that half of the Palestinians believe that Hamasís goal was to derail these direct negotiations. It is also worth noting that the balance of power between Fateh and Hamas, in terms of popular support for each, has remained unchanged since the second quarter of this year. In fact, the popularity of President Abbas versus that of Ismail Haniyeh has improved during this period. This means that Hamas did not gain greater public sympathy despite popular support for its armed attack on settlers. It also means that Abbas and Fateh have not lost public support by going to direct talks that did not enjoy great public support and by cracking down on Hamas in the aftermath of Hamasís armed attack on settlers. The overwhelming majority of the public opposed this crackdown.

Findings also show that the public is not optimistic about the chances for reconciliation between Fateh and Hamas despite the recent Damascus meeting between the two sides. They also show that about half of the public still believes that if Hamas wins the next Palestinian elections, the current split between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip will be consolidated while only one quarter of the public believes the same will happen if Fateh wins the next elections.

Finally, results show that a clear majority supports the Fayyad government decision to withdraw government cars from senior civil servants.

 

(1) Direct Negotiations after Resumption of Settlement Construction:

  • In light of the resumption of settlement construction, two thirds (66%) of the public want the Palestinian side to pull out of the direct negotiations while 30% say it should not pull out of the talks. The percentage of those who demand a pull out of the talks reaches 62% in the Gaza Strip and 68% in the West Bank.

 

(2) Government Cars:

  • 63% support and 32% oppose the decision of the government of Salam Fayyad to withdraw government cars from senior civil servants. Support for the decision is higher in the West Bank (68%) than in the Gaza Strip (54%).

(3) Conditions and Performance of Two Governments in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip:

  • 11% describe conditions in the Gaza Strip as good or very good and 70% describe them as bad or very bad. By contrast, 33% describe conditions in the West Bank as good or very good and only 34% describe them as bad or very bad.
  • 70% say there is corruption in the PA institutions in the West Bank while only 60% say there is corruption in the institutions of the dismissed government in the Gaza Strip.
  • 58% say there is, or there is to some extent, press freedom in the West Bank and 32% say there is no such freedom in the West Bank. But only 36% describe conditions of democracy and human rights in the PA under President Mahmud Abbas as good or very good and 33% say they are bad or very bad.Moreover, only 30% say people in the West Bank can criticize the Palestinian Authority without fear while 65% say people cannot do that without fear.
  • By contrast, 42% say there is, or there is to some extent, press freedom in the Gaza Strip while 43% say there is no such freedom in the Gaza Strip. Moreover only 24% say people in the Gaza Strip can criticize the authorities in Gaza without fear and 66% say people cannot do that without fear.
  • Perceptions of safety and security are almost identical: in the Gaza Strip, 60% say they feel safe and secure in their home these days and only 40% do not feel safe and secure. In the West Bank, 61% say they feel safe and secure and 39% do not.
  • Positive evaluation of the performance of the PA public institutions in the West Bank reaches 43% and negative evaluation reaches 26%. By contrast, positive evaluation of the performance of the public institutions of the dismissed government in the Gaza Strip reaches 30% and negative evaluation reaches 31%.
  • 29% say that political, security, and economic conditions force them to seek immigration to other countries. The percentage of those seeking immigration reaches 37% in the Gaza Strip and 24% in the West Bank.
  • Positive evaluation of the performance of the dismissed government of Ismail Haniyeh reaches 36% and negative evaluation reaches 27% while positive evaluation of the performance of the government of Salam Fayyad reaches 43% and negative evaluation reaches 25%.
  • Percentage of satisfaction with the performance of President Abbas reaches 51% and dissatisfaction reaches 45%. Satisfaction is higher in the West Bank (53%) than in the Gaza Strip (49%).
  • 26% say the government of Haniyeh is the legitimate Palestinian government and 30% say the Fayyad government is the legitimate one. 30% say both governments are illegitimate and 9% say the two governments are legitimate. These results are almost identical to those obtained last June.

 

(4) Presidency and Legislative Elections: