The great majority of Palestinians expect a third intifada to erupt if Israeli- Palestinian peace talks reach an impasse, according to a poll published on Tuesday.

The survey also showed that nearly 80 percent of Palestinians supported the recent reconciliation agreement between Hamas and Fatah.

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Dr. Nabil Kukali, president of the Beit Sahur-based Palestinian Center for Public Opinion, which conducted the poll, said it was carried out between May 5 and 12, and covered a random sample of 950 Palestinians from the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem. He added that the poll had a margin of error of 3 percentage points.

Seventy percent of Palestinians expect a third intifada similar to those of 1987 and 2000 if Israeli-Palestinian peace talks fail, according to the poll. However, 25% of respondents said they were opposed to a new intifada.

Almost 75% said any military escalation in the Gaza Strip would be in Israel’s interest, whereas only 18% believed it would be in Hamas’s interest.

The poll found that almost 70% of Palestinians were opposed to the firing of rockets from the Gaza Strip into Israel.

With regards to peace with Israel, respondents seemed to be equally divided.

Asked, “Do you think that Israelis are interested in making peace with Palestinians?” 44% said no, while 45% replied yes, to a degree.

The poll also showed that 40% of Palestinians support the resumption of peace talks with Israel, as opposed to 32% who have a mixed feeling and 25% who are opposed.

Only a tiny minority of 5% is for “military operations” as a way to end Israeli occupation.

More than 30% said they were in favor of negotiations until an agreement between the two parties is reached.

Another 25% said they favored nonviolent popular resistance, while 12% said a solution could be reached through the United Nations.

Over half of the respondents (53%) said they saw Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad as the best candidate for premier of a unity government with Hamas. Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh received only 14% support.

But the poll revealed that Fayyad would lose to Abbas in a presidential election. Forty-eight percent said they would vote for Abbas, as opposed to 15% for Fayyad.

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