Over 50% of Palestinians back peace talks, survey finds

Alpha International poll finds that imprisoned Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti would win presidential race if Abbas doesn’t run.

August 7, 2013 01:58
1 minute read.
Israeli, Palestinian delegations meet in Washington for iftar dinner, July 29, 2013.

Israelis, Palestinians meeting for resumption of talks 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Yuri Gripas)

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 opinion.

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.

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