Convicted Fatah terrorist Marwan Barghouti, currently serving five life terms in
Israeli prison for his role in several terror attacks during the second
intifada, would win a presidential election against both Palestinian Authority
President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, a poll released
this week found.
The poll, conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy
and Survey Research, shows clear improvement in the standing of Haniyeh and
Hamas during the second quarter of 2012, while Abbas and his Fatah movement have
declined in popularity during the same period.
If an election between
Abbas and Haniyeh were held today, Abbas would receive 49 percent of the vote
versus Haniyeh’s 44%, according to the poll. Three months ago, Abbas received
the support of 54% and Haniyeh 42%.
The survey found that if the
presidential elections were between Barghouti and Haniyeh, the former would
receive 60% and the latter would receive 34% of the participants’
If the presidential elections were between all three candidates –
Abbas, Barghouti and Haniyeh – the poll found that Barghouti would receive the
highest percentage of votes (37%), followed by Haniyeh (33%) and Abbas
If Barghouti were to remain in prison and a Fatah candidate to
replace Abbas were needed, assuming Abbas would not run, chief Palestinian
negotiator Saeb Erekat polled as the most likely candidate to replace him
When asked about the arrests of journalists and blocking of
Internet sites by the PA that took place in the weeks preceding the poll, 88% of
respondents opposed such moves, while 7% supported the measures. A vast majority
(86%) of those polled thought that the crackdown on journalist and bloggers in
the West Bank caused harm to the Palestinian cause in international public
opinion. Twothirds of respondents said that they feel they are living in an
undemocratic system that quells freedoms, while only 29% said they feel they
live in a democratic system that protects freedoms.
Those polled were
largely dissatisfied (71%) that Fatah and Hamas had thus far failed in their
reconciliation efforts and the majority of respondents did not believe that
unity would be achieved in the near future.
Nearly a third (32%) of
respondents believed that a reconciliation government would never be formed,
while 47% said they thought it would be formed, but only after a long
When asked what the most serious problem facing Palestinians today
was, 27% of respondents said it was the continuation of the occupation and
settlement activities, while 26% said it was the spread of poverty and
unemployment. An additional 24% of those polled thought the Palestinians’ most
serious problem was the absence of national unity due to the West Bank-Gaza
Strip split, 15% said corruption in some public institutions and 8% answered
that it was the siege and the closure of the Gaza border crossings.
poll was conducted between June 21-23 among 1,200 adult Palestinians interviewed
face-to-face in 120 randomly selected locations in the West Bank and Gaza.