'70% of Palestinians expect third intifada if talks fail'

Palestinian poll shows one quarter oppose new intifada, 70% oppose firing rockets from Gaza; majority believes Israel interested in peace deal.

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May 17, 2011 16:33
2 minute read.
Arab throws back tear gas canister in Silwan

Palestinian throws back tear gas canister Silwan 311 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS/Nir Elias)

 
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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.

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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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