Poll: majority of Palestinians see peace talks with Israel as a mistake

Published November 27th, 2013 - 02:02 GMT
US Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Palestinian authority President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank city of Bethlehem on November 6, 2013. [AFP/Fadi Arouri]
US Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Palestinian authority President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank city of Bethlehem on November 6, 2013. [AFP/Fadi Arouri]

Half of the Palestinians believe that the Palestinian Authority made a mistake when it decided to resume peace talks with Israel more than three months ago, according to a public opinion poll published Wednesday.

The poll also showed that nearly 70% of Palestinians believe that the negotiations would not result in an agreement with Israel.

Previous public opinion polls have also indicated that a majority of Palestinians does not believe that the talks with Israel would lead to an agreement.

Earlier this month, another poll published by An-Najah University in Nablus found that over 70% of Palestinians expect the peace talks to fail. That poll also showed that more than half of the Palestinians do not support the resumption of the peace talks.

The latest poll was conducted by the Jerusalem Media and Communications Center in east Jerusalem.

The poll covered 1,200 Palestinians over the age of 18 throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip between November 13 and 17.

The poll has a margin of error of three percent.

The survey also showed that Palestinians remain divided over the best method to achieve their goals.

One-third of respondents favored peaceful negotiations, while another one-third said that armed resistance was their preferred means. Twenty-seven percent said that they supported a “non-violent, peaceful resistance.”

The majority of the Palestinians (30%) continued to hold Hamas responsible for the persisting division between the West Bank and Gaza Strip, according to the poll.

More than 45% of respondents said that the latest developments in Egypt were not encouraging in terms of any change in Hamas’s position toward reconciliation with Fatah.

The poll also found that despite growing discontent, 65% of respondents said that there was a need to perpetuate and maintain the Palestinian Authority. Only 24% called for dismantling the PA.

In general, the poll showed, 61% of respondents believe that the performance of the PA is good compared to 33% who termed it as bad.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas continued to maintain the most trust among Palestinians - 20% as opposed to 11% for Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, according to the survey. Previous polls by the same organization had also given Abbas a lead over other candidates.

With regards to the “Arab Spring,” the poll showed that 42% of Palestinians believe that that these events would change the Arab world for the worse. Half of respondents said that the “Arab Spring” would be at the expense of the Palestinian cause.


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