A Palestinian holding a knife in Hebron.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
An overwhelming majority of Palestinians are opposed to the dismantlement of the Palestinian Authority, according to a public opinion poll published on Sunday.
The poll also indicated a sharp decline in the percentage of Palestinians who support the eruption of a third intifada against Israel.
The poll was conducted by the Arab World for Research & Development (AWRAD), a Ramallah-based firm that describes itself as “one of the Arab region’s leading firms providing a full range of consulting and technical services for substantial development and state building.”
According to the results of the poll, which covered some 1,200 Palestinians and has a margin of error of 3 percentage points, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas would win a presidential election.
About 36% of respondents said they would vote for Abbas, while 22% voiced support for Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh.
Another 56% of respondents said they favor the creation of the post of deputy president of the PA, compared to 30% who oppose the idea.
However, the poll also showed an increase in the number of Palestinians who possess a negative assessment of the performance of both Abbas and Haniyeh.
The previous poll conducted by AWRAD in 2015 showed that only 31% had a negative assessment of Abbas’s performance. The current poll, on the other hand, showed that the percentage of Palestinians who are dissatisfied with Abbas has risen to 35%.
As for Haniyeh, the proportion of Palestinians dissatisfied with his performance increased from 32% to 38% during the same period.
Abbas seems to be more popular in the Gaza Strip than Haniyeh – 46% compared to 20%.
About 79% of respondents said they were opposed to the dissolving the PA. Another 80% said they supported holding immediate presidential and parliamentary elections.
The results showed an increase in Fatah’s popularity in the Gaza Strip (46%), while in the West Bank it enjoys the backing of only 34%.