The Palestinian-Israeli Agreement, the Palestinian National Authority, and Elections

May 31, 1994


This is the ninth public opinion poll conducted by the Survey Research Unit (SRU) at the Center for Palestine Research and Studies. This poll focuses on elections, the Palestinian-Israeli agreement concerning Gaza and Jericho signed in Cairo on May 4, and concerns of Palestinians in the interim period, especially concerning the Palestinian police, the rights of women, and the Palestinian authority. 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 with regard to 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. In a broader sense, SRU strives to promote the status of scientific research in Palestine.

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, May 31, 1994. It was conducted later in the month than usual for two reasons. First, the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, which occurred on May 21st, necessitated postponing the poll until the last week of May. Also, CPRS was hosting expert consultants from the United States who were to help develop the polling unit and needed to monitor the data collection process. The exact date was chosen, therefore, to enable all of the consultants to monitor the fieldwork and make their suggestions for improving the methodology.

The poll was conducted in the month immediately following the signing of the Palestinian-Israeli agreement concerning Gaza and Jericho in Cairo on May 4, 1994, and thus was during the first stage of the implementation for this agreement, which included the following steps:

  1. Withdrawal of Israeli forces from population centers in the Gaza Strip and Jericho region, and their redeployment to agreed upon locations, including the borders of the Palestinian autonomous regions, settlements, and main roads in the Gaza Strip and Jericho region.
  2. Entrance of the Palestinian police into the areas of Gaza and Jericho, who were received by the Palestinian people, regardless of political affiliation, with euphoric welcome.
  3. Release of several hundred Palestinian prisoners
  4. Initial preparations to establish the Palestinian administrative infrastructure to replace the Israeli Civil Administration in the autonomous regions and the initial formation of the Palestinian national authority.
  5. Announcement of the names of some individuals appointed to the Palestinian national authority, including some individuals from inside the West Bank and Gaza and some from the Diaspora.
  6. Numerous questions in the Palestinian community regarding the Palestinian authority and Palestinian society on issues of democracy and human rights, the rights of women and their political participation, and general civil and political rights.... More