Palestinian demonstrators burn a crossed-out poster depicting U.S. President Donald Trump and reading: "no for Deal of the Century" during a protest against Bahrain's workshop for U.S. Middle East peace plan, in the southern Gaza Strip, June 26, 2019.
(photo credit: IBRAHEEM ABU MUSTAFA / REUTERS)
A vast majority of Palestinians believes that the participation of Arab countries such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Jordan in last week’s US-led “Prosperity to Peace” economic workshop in Bahrain signifies an Arab abandonment of the Palestinians, according to a public opinion poll published on Thursday.
While 80% of Palestinian respondents supported the Palestinian Authority’s call for boycotting the Bahrain workshop, a similar percentage viewed the participation of Arab countries as an abandonment of the Palestinian cause.
The survey conducted by the Ramallah-based Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research also showed that 90% of surveyed Palestinians do not trust the US administration, and three quarters of respondents want the PA to reject US President Donald Trump’s plan for peace in the Middle East, also known as the Deal of the Century.
Half of the Palestinian public continues to oppose the two-state solution. “The public is divided into three groups in its assessment of the most effective means of ending the Israeli occupation: armed action comes first followed by negotiations, and then popular nonviolent resistance,” the center said.
“Findings show that the majority expects the future Israeli government, which will be formed after the upcoming election, to annex settlement areas in the West Bank, wage war against the Gaza Strip, and take measures that would bring about PA collapse.”
According to the center, when asked to choose between economic prosperity and independence, “the overwhelming majority (83%) opts for independence; only 15% chose economic prosperity.”
Some 57% of respondents said they want PA President Mahmoud Abbas to resign, while 35% want him to remain in office. A previous poll conducted three months ago showed that 60% said they want Abbas to resign. Demand for Abbas’ resignation stands at 49% in the West Bank and 71% in the Gaza Strip. Three months ago, demand for Abbas’s resignation stood at 55% in the West Bank and 68% in the Gaza Strip.
If new presidential elections were held today and only two were nominated – Abbas and Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh – the former would receive 48% and the latter 42% of the vote, compared with 51% for Abbas and 41% for Haniyeh three months ago.
The poll also showed that 67% of surveyed Palestinians believe that corruption is deeply rooted in the PA, while only 25% think it is partial and subject to accountability.
A majority of 56% believes that the two-state solution is no longer practical or feasible due to the expansion of Israeli settlements, while 40% believe that the solution remains practical, according to the survey. Moreover, 71% believe that the chances for the creation of a Palestinian state alongside the state of Israel in the next five years are slim or nonexistent, while 26% believe the chances to be medium or high.
The public is divided over the role of negotiations and armed struggle in the establishment of a Palestinian state next to the state of Israel: 38% think armed struggle is the most effective means; 35% think that negotiations are the most effective means; and 23% believe that non-violent resistance is the most effective. Three months ago, 37% said negotiations are the most effective means while 36% said armed struggle is the most effective means.
Nearly half of respondents said they support a return to an armed intifada against Israel; 38% support dissolving the PA; and 31% support abandoning the two-state solution and demanding the establishment of one state for Palestinians and Israelis.
The poll of 1,200 Palestinians was conducted in the last three days of June and has a margin of error of 3%.
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