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Dec 2016 poll: 64% want Abbas' resignation; Support for violence rises, Palestinians believe Al-Aqsa is in danger

"These are the results of the latest poll conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR) in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip between 8 and 10 December 2016... Total size of the sample is 1270 adults interviewed face to face in 127 randomly selected locations. Margin of error is 3%.                

In the aftermath of Fatah’s Seventh Convention and the election of its new leaders, only one third of the Palestinian public expresses confidence in the ability of the new leadership to attain the goals Palestinians aspire to; 54% do not have confidence in the new leadership...

Only 33% of the public is satisfied with the choice made by the Seventh Convention in selecting President Abbas as head of Fatah for five more years; 57% of the public is dissatisfied with that choice. Yet, among Fatah’s likely voters, satisfaction with the selection of Abbas stands at 70%. 


(2)    Presidential and parliamentary elections:

•    64% want Abbas’ resignation and 32% want him to stay in office

•    In an election involving two candidates, Abbas and Ismail Haniyah, the latter receives 49% of the vote and the former 45%; if the two candidates are Marwan Barghouti and Haniyah, the latter receives 36% and the former 59%.

•    In parliamentary elections, Fatah receives 41% of the vote, Hamas 32%, and third factions combined 10%
64% of the public want president Abbas to resign while 32% want him to remain in office. Three months ago, 61% said they want Abbas to resign. Demand for Abbas’ resignation increases in the Gaza Strip (72%) compared to the West Bank (59%), in refugee camps and cities (67% and 66% respectively) compared to villages (53%), among those opposed to the peace process (81%) compared to supporters of the peace process (52%), among the religious (68%) compared to the somewhat religious (61%), among supporters of Hamas and third factions (91% and 81% respectively) compared to Fatah supporters (29%), among those who work in the private sector (64%) compared to those who work in the public sector (56%), among the retired, the professionals, and students (82%, 71%, and 68% respectively) compared to housewives (62%), and among holders of BA degree (68%) compared to illiterates and holders of elementary certificate (41% and 51% respectively).

If president Abbas does not nominate himself in a new election, 36% prefer to see Marwan Barghouti replacing him, while 20% prefer Ismail Haniyeh; Khalid Mishal receives 6%; Rami al Hamdallah 5%; Mohammad Dahlan 4%; Mustapha Barghouti 3%; Salam Fayyad 2%, and Saeb Erekat 1%. Level of satisfaction with the performance of president Abbas stands at 35% today compared to 37% three months ago. Level of satisfaction with Abbas stands at 38% in the West Bank and 30% in the Gaza Strip. If new presidential elections were held today and only two were nominated, Ismail Haniyeh and Mahmoud Abbas, the former would receive 49% (compared to 48% three months ago) and the latter 45% (compared to 45% three months ago). In the Gaza Strip, Abbas receives 45% of the vote (compared to 47 three months ago) and Haniyeh receive 51% (compared to 50% three months ago). In the West Bank Abbas receives 45% (compared to 43% three months ago) and Haniyeh 47% (compared to 46% three months ago). If presidential elections were between three: Mahmud Abbas, Marwan Barghouti and Ismail Haniyeh, Abbas would receive 24%, Barghouti 39% and Haniyeh 33%. If presidential elections were between two: Marwan Barghouti and Ismail Haniyeh, Barghouti receives 59% and Haniyeh 36%.

If new legislative elections were held today with the participation of all factions, 70% say they would participate in such elections. Of those who would participate, 32% say they would vote for Hamas and 41% say they would vote for Fatah, 10% would vote for all other third parties combined, and 17% are undecided. Three months ago, vote for Hamas stood at 32% and Fatah at 37%. Vote for Hamas in the Gaza Strip stands today at 38% (compared to 37% three months ago) and for Fatah at 40% (compared to 39% three months ago). In the West Bank, vote for Hamas stands at 29% (compared to 29% three months ago) and Fatah at 41% (compared to 36% three months ago).


•    49% view the PA as a burden and 46% view it as an asset for the Palestinian people

We asked the public about its viewership habits in the last two months. Findings indicate that al Jazeera TV viewership is the highest, standing at 19%, followed by al Aqsa TV (at 16%), Maan TV (at 15%), Palestine TV and Filasteen al Youm (Palestine Today) at 12 % each, Al Arabiya at 6%, al Quds TV at 5%, and al Mayadeen at 3%.

Perception of corruption in PA institutions stands at 76%. Moreover, only 36% of the Palestinian public say people in the West Bank can criticize the PA authority without fear. This percentage rises to 41% among West Bankers and drops to 27% among Gazans. Furthermore, 49% view the Palestinian Authority as a burden on the Palestinians while 46% view it as an asset.


•    33% believe that negotiation is the most effective means of creating a Palestinian state and 37% think armed resistance is the most effective [..]

Palestinians are divided into three groups on the most effective means of building a Palestinian state next to the state of Israel: 33% believe that negotiation is the most effective; 37% think armed action is the most effective; and 24% think non-violent popular resistance is the most effective. Three months ago, 34% said armed action is the most effective means...

In the absence of peace negotiations, 74% support joining more international organizations, 62% support non-violent popular resistance, 53% support a return to an armed intifada, and 48% support the dissolution of the Palestinian Authority. Three months ago, support for a return to an armed intifada stood at 48% and 44% supported the dissolution of the PA... 

A majority believes that al Haram al Sharif is in grave danger: 52% believe that Israel intends to destroy al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock and replace them with a Jewish temple; 15% believe that it intends to divide the plateau on which the two mosques sit so that Jews would have a synagogue alongside the Muslim holy places. Only 12% believe that Israel is interested in maintaining the status quo without change.

An overwhelming majority of 90% believes that ISIS is a radical group that does not represent true Islam and 5% believe it does represent true Islam. 6% are not sure or do not know. In the Gaza Strip, 9% (compared to 2% in the West Bank) say ISIS represents true Islam. 82% support and 15% oppose the war waged by Arab and Western countries against ISIS."