(photo credit: REUTERS)
A public opinion poll published on Monday showed that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s popularity has declined in both the West Bank and Gaza Strip, while only 48% of Palestinians support the two-state solution.
The poll found that 51% oppose a two-state solution to the conflict, which was a reverse of the finding three months ago, when 51% supported and 48% opposed this solution.
In contrast to Abbas’s drop in the poll, the popularity of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh has increased significantly in the West Bank and declined slightly in the Gaza Strip.
The poll, which was conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in Ramallah, also showed that the popularity of Hamas dropped significantly in the Gaza Strip and improved in the West Bank.
Fatah’s popularity has declined in both areas, the poll found.
The poll was conducted in the West Bank and Gaza Strip between September 17 and 19.
It covered 1,270 adults and has a three percent margin of error.
According to the results, 65% of respondents want Abbas to resign, while 31% want him to remain in office. Two-thirds believe Abbas’s recent resignation from the PLO Executive Committee is not real.
If Abbas does not run in a new election, 32% of respondents prefer to see jailed Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti replace him, the results showed. Nearly 20% prefer Ismail Haniyeh. PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah got 8%, while Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal and Fatah operative Mohamed Dahlan each received only 6%. Only 4% said they favor top PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat, while former PA prime minister Salam Fayyad got only 3% approval, the poll showed.
A majority of 66% of respondents rejects a return to unconditional negotiations with Israel if that means no cessation of settlement construction.
An overwhelming majority of 88% wants the PA to take Israel to the International Criminal Court for building settlements.
Another finding of the poll is that 80% of respondents believe the Arab world is too preoccupied with its own concerns, internal conflicts, and the conflict with Iran.