More than half of Palestinians support the resumption of peace talks with
Israel, according to a public opinion poll published Tuesday.
The poll –
conducted by Alpha International, an organization that aims to help
decision-makers take “effective” decisions – also found that jailed Fatah leader
Marwan Barghouti would win in a presidential election if Mahmoud Abbas does not
run for another term.
The survey, conducted between July 31 and August 3,
covered some 500 Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza Strip and has a margin
of error of 5 percent.
According to the poll, 51% of respondents support
the resumption of peace talks with Israel. Only 38% said they were opposed to
the resumption of the peace talks, while another 6.3% said they had no
In addition, 43% of respondents said they had no problem with
Saeb Erekat heading the Palestinian delegation to the talks, as opposed to 36%
who rejected him.
Regarding the possibility of holding long-overdue
presidential elections, an overwhelming majority of 69% said they were opposed
to holding a new vote.
About 20% said presidential and legislative
elections should take place only in the West Bank.
The poll found that
Barghouti, who is serving five life terms in prison for his role in a series of
terror attacks against Israelis during the second intifada, would defeat any
other candidate if Abbas decided not to run.
Among the other potential
candidates the poll mentions are Hamas leaders Ismail Haniyeh and Khaled
Mashaal, political activist Mustafa Barghouti, former PA prime minister Salam
Fayyad and Fatah’s Muhammad Shtayyeh.
The poll also showed that 45% of
respondents were opposed to Fayyad’s return to power.