Poll finds Palestinians pessimistic on Benny Gantz

The poll indicated that a slim majority of 51% expect the Israeli right wing led by Netanyahu to win the election and 22% expect the center-left led by Gantz to win, while the rest of the respondents

March 27, 2019 17:10
2 minute read.
Khalil Shikaki at the Jerusalem Press Club, March 27th, 2019

Khalil Shikaki at the Jerusalem Press Club, March 27th, 2019. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)


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Only 22% of Palestinians believe Blue and White leader Benny Gantz will win the April 9 Israeli elections and three-quarters think that even if he wins, conditions for Israelis and Palestinians will stay the same or become worse, a new poll of Palestinians presented Wednesday found.

Prof. Khalil Shikaki, who directs the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, presented the poll’s results to Israeli journalists and foreign press at the Jerusalem Press Club.

The poll indicated that a slim majority of 51% expect the Israeli right-wing led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to win the election and 22% expect the Center-Left led by Gantz to win, while the rest of the respondents did not know.

Only 10% of respondents said that if Gantz wins the race, Palestinian and Israeli conditions will improve – 75% say they will stay the same or become worse and the rest said they did not know.

“There is concern among Palestinians that Israel keeps moving to the Right,” Shikaki told the press. “This makes Palestinians more pessimistic on peace chances and the feasibility of the two-state solution.”

Palestinian support for the concept of the two-state solution stands at 48% and opposition at 50%. Three months ago, support for the concept stood at 43%. When asked to choose between the two-state solution, the one-state solution or any other third solution, 49% said they prefer the two-state solution, 17% said they prefer the one-state solution and 23% preferred some other solution.

An overwhelming majority of Palestinians – 83% – believe the Trump Administration is not serious about launching a new peace plan and 79% believe that the Palestinian leadership should reject the US plan, if it is offered.

A majority of 64% is opposed and 23% is not opposed to a resumption of dialogue between the Palestinian leadership and the Trump Administration. Official contacts between the PA and the US government were suspended by the PA after the US recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on December 6, 2017.

Regarding Palestinian politics, if new presidential elections were held today and Mahmoud Abbas and Ismail Haniyeh run, Abbas would receive 51% and the Haniyeh 41% of the vote, compared to 42% for Abbas and 49% for Haniyeh three months ago.

“For the first time in five years of polls taken four times a year, Abbas is winning the election with 51% of the vote,” Shikaki told the reporters. “This is a significant achievement, but it is probably temporary.”

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