Photo Credit: Abed Rahim Khatib/ Flash90
Arab youths take part in an anti-Israel protest in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah, October 13, 2015.

A June 28 public opinion poll issued by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR) found a “significant drop in support for Fatah and its leadership and a similar drop in support for the two-state solution and the one democratic state, accompanied by a rise in support for a return to an armed intifada and a majority support for the recent armed attacks inside Israel.” However, the same poll also found that “about two-thirds view positively ‘confidence building’ measures and the largest percentage of West Bankers is opposed to armed attacks.”

In other words, PA Arab’s opinion continues to be extremely bi-polar, and, as usual, a majority there wants peace with Israel as well as the complete annihilation of Israel.

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The PSR survey results for the second quarter of 2022 show a “significant change in the domestic balance of power in favor of Hamas and its leadership, only three months after Fatah had managed to restore some of the popularity it had lost in the aftermath of the April 2021 cancellation of the legislative and presidential elections, the May 2021 war between Hamas and Israel, and the killing of the opposition figure Nizar Banat at the hands of the Palestinian security services.”
At this point, according to the PSR survey, Hamas and Fatah enjoy “almost the same level of public support, with the gap narrowing to one percentage point in favor of Hamas after it was six points in favor of Fatah in March 2022.”
The gap in popularity between the head of Fatah, Mahmoud Abbas, and the head of Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh, has now reached 22 points in favor of Haniyeh after it had been only 16 points three months ago. And more than three-quarters of the public demand Abbas’ resignation, while less than one-fifth of the public supports him.

Regarding PA-Israeli relations, the PSR survey results indicate a significant decline in support for the two-state solution, and a “significant increase––70%––in the belief that a two-state solution is no longer feasible or practical due to settlement expansion. But there’s also a significant decline in PA Arabs’ support for a one-state solution with equal rights for Jews and Arabs. Meanwhile, a clear majority supports a return to an armed uprising, inspired by the recent shootings inside Israel by Arabs who did not belong to any known terror groups. There’s a gap, however, between PA and Gaza Arabs on this point, with most Gazans supporting sporadic killings of Jews and the majority of PA Arabs opposing it.

What are the most vital PA Arab goals and the main problems confronting them today? The PSR survey found that (direct quote):

  • 45% believe that the first and most vital Palestinian goal should be to end Israeli occupation in the areas occupied in 1967 and build a Palestinian state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip with East Jerusalem as its capital. By contrast, 32% believe the first most vital goal should be to obtain the right of return of refugees to their 1948 towns and villages, and 12% believe that the first and most vital goal should be to build a pious or moral individual and a religious society, one that applies all Islamic teachings and 9% believes it should be to establish a democratic political system that respects freedoms and rights of Palestinians.
  • In a question about the main problem confronting the Palestinians today, the largest percentage, 26% (29% in the Gaz Strip and 23% in the West Bank), said it is unemployment and poverty; 25% (13% in the Gaza Strip and 32% in the West Bank) said it is corruption in the PA; 17% (24% in the Gaza Strip and 12% in the West Bank) said it is the continued siege and blockade of the Gaza Strip; 16% said it is the continuation of the occupation and settlement construction; 13% (17% in the Gaza Strip and 11% in the West Bank) said it is the split between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip; and 4% said it is the weakness of the judiciary and the absence of liberties, accountability, and democracy.
  • When asked about the most pressing problem confronting the Palestinians today, the largest percentage (32%) said it is the Israeli occupation, while 23% said it is corruption, 17% said it is unemployment, 16% said it is the split or division, and 8% said it is the internal violence.

The total size of the poll sample is 1270 adults interviewed face to face in 127 randomly selected locations. Margin of error is +/-3%.

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David writes news at JewishPress.com.