PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY PRESIDENT Mahmoud Abbas greets the audience during a ceremony in Ramallah on December 31, marking the 54th anniversary of Fatah’s founding.
(photo credit: MOHAMAD TOROKMAN/REUTERS)
A strong majority of Palestinians (60%) want Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to resign while 35% want him to remain in office, according to a public opinion poll published on Tuesday.
Three months ago, another poll indicated that 64% wanted to see Abbas step down.
An overwhelming majority of Palestinians also said they believe that the chances for the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel in the next five years are slim or nonexistent.
The poll, which was conducted by the Ramallah-based Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, indicated a rise in support among Palestinians for the two-state solution, while the largest percentage remains opposed.
Carried out from March 13 to 16, the poll surveyed some 1,270 Palestinians and has a 3% margin error.
Tuesday’s findings showed that while 55% of Palestinians support a “popular nonviolent resistance” against Israel, 47% support a return to an armed intifada.
The poll also found that 77% of respondents said they believe that the chances for the establishment of a Palestinian state in the near future are almost nonexistent, while only 21% said that they believe that the chances are medium or high.
Opinions regarding the concept of a two-state solution are split, with 48% in support and 50% opposing it, the poll showed. Similarly, 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. The pollsters noted that in the last poll conducted three months ago, support for the two-state solution was slightly less, standing at 45%.
Still, this poll found that 58% of respondents said they believe that the two-state solution is no longer practical or feasible due to “expansion of Israeli settlements,” while only 37% believe the two-state solution is still practical.
The poll found that 83% of Palestinians believe the US administration is not serious about launching a new peace plan. They also said they believe that US President Donald Trump’s unpublished plan for peace in the Middle East, known as the “deal of the century,” will not call for the establishment of a Palestinian state or a just solution. Nearly 80% of respondents want the Palestinian leadership to reject Trump’s plan if and when it is presented.
According to the results of the survey, the Palestinians are divided over the role of negotiations and “armed struggle” in the establishment of a Palestinian state: 37% think that negotiations are the most effective means, while 36% said they believe the “armed struggle” is the most effective means. In the previous poll, 28% said they favored negotiations as opposed to 44% who expressed support for the “armed struggle.”
With regard to the continued power struggle between the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority and Hamas, an overwhelming majority (82%) demanded that the PA list all measures taken against the Gaza Strip.
The poll found that 72% of Palestinian respondents want elections for the parliament and PA presidency, and 66% want Hamas to participate in the vote.
The findings also showed that if new presidential elections were held today and only two people were nominated – Abbas and Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh – the PA president would receive 51%, while Haniyeh would get 41% of the vote (compared to 42% for Abbas and 49% for Haniyeh in the previous poll). If Abbas does not run in the next election, 35% said they prefer to see jailed Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti replace him, while 19% favored Haniyeh.
If a new parliamentary election were held today, 70% said they would participate in the vote, with 32% saying they would vote for Hamas as opposed to 39% for Fatah. In the previous poll, 34% said they would vote for Hamas compared to 35% for Fatah.
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