Majority of Palestinians believe corruption increased, poll finds

The results showed that widespread corruption poses the most important challenge to the Palestinians, followed by the “occupation,” economic issues, and the dispute between the PA and Hamas.

 Palestinian demonstrators attend an anti-Palestinian Authority protest in Ramallah, August 2, 2021 (photo credit: REUTERS/MOHAMAD TOROKMAN)
Palestinian demonstrators attend an anti-Palestinian Authority protest in Ramallah, August 2, 2021
(photo credit: REUTERS/MOHAMAD TOROKMAN)

Most Palestinians believe that corruption in Palestinian Authority institutions has increased in 2021, according to a public opinion poll published on Tuesday.

The poll, conducted by The Coalition for Integrity and Accountability (AMAN) at the beginning of October, also found that many Palestinians do not have confidence in various bodies entrusted with combating corruption.

Established in 2000, AMAN describes itself as a “civil society organization that seeks to combat corruption and promote integrity, transparency and accountability in Palestinian society.”

The poll covered 1,320 Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem and has a 3% margin of error.

The results showed that widespread corruption poses the most important challenge to the Palestinians, followed by the “occupation,” economic issues, and the dispute between the PA and Hamas.

A picture taken with a drone shows Hamas supporters taking part in a protest against Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' decision to postpone planned parliamentary elections, in the northern Gaza Strip April 30, 2021.REUTERS/MOHAMMED SALEMA picture taken with a drone shows Hamas supporters taking part in a protest against Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' decision to postpone planned parliamentary elections, in the northern Gaza Strip April 30, 2021.REUTERS/MOHAMMED SALEM

According to the results, 63% of respondents believe that corruption has increased since the beginning of this year.

Another 59% of respondents believe that corruption will increase, according to the results.

Last year, 55% of respondents predicted that various forms of corruption would increase.

The poll found that 84% of those surveyed believe that anti-corruption efforts are insufficient, as opposed to 80% who held the same view last year.

“The majority of respondents in the [PA-controlled areas of the] West Bank believe that corruption is concentrated within the highest level of public sector employees,” AMAN said. “In the Gaza Strip, a majority of respondents see that opportunities for corruption are mostly concentrated in NGOs and the private sector.”

It pointed out that anti-corruption bodies are “subject to interference and meddling in their work by various influential parties, such as the Office of the [PA] President, the security institutions and political parties’ leaders.”

The most prevalent forms of corruption were identified as nepotism, misappropriation of public funds, abuse of power, bribery, and money laundering, AMAN disclosed.

The results showed that 87% of respondents believe that the Palestinian media’s role in exposing or detecting corruption cases in 2021 was weak.

Meanwhile, 69% of respondents said that social media was the most effective means of highlighting and uncovering corruption cases that occurred during 2021.