Poll: More than Half of Palestinians Oppose Negotiations with Israel
One in two Palestinians is opposed to negotiations with Israel, according to a poll published Tuesday on the eve of a US deadline for the two sides to respond to President Bill Clinton's peace proposals.
The survey by the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion said that 52 percent of Palestinians in the West Bank and Jerusalem were against negotiations and just 39 percent in favor.
And 48 percent of the 500 people interviewed by the center’s president Nabil Kukali believed the talks will fail, while 37 percent believed they will "partially succeed" and only four percent believed they will "fully succeed."
The poll also found that a full 79 percent were opposed to proposals in which Palestinians would waive the right of return to Israel for refugees made homeless after the creation of the Jewish state in 1948.
And it said 57 percent were opposed to the plan for the Palestinians to have sovereignty over the al-Aqsa mosque compound, the third holiest site in Islam, and certain other areas of east Jerusalem.
Kukali said it would appear the proposals do not give enough of Jerusalem to the Palestinians, who want the city as the capital of a future independent state.
On the internal political scene, the poll found that 39 percent would vote for Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's Fateh faction and 20.5 percent for the Islamic militant movement Hamas.
Another nine percent would vote for factions opposed to the peace process and 6.5 percent for those who back it, while 25 percent would abstain, according to the poll by the center, which is based in the West Bank town of Beit Sahur near Bethlehem -- JERUSALEM (AFP)
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