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Date posted: June 23, 2007
By Center for Opinion Polls and Survey Studies

Background:

Following the Gaza incidents, President Mahmoud Abbas issued three presidential decrees by which he dissolved the unity government led by Ismael Hanyieh, declared a state of emergency in all the Palestinian territories, and formed a new emergency government headed by Salam Fayyad. Following these decrees, Ismael Hanyieh denounced the President's decrees as "illegitimate" and "unconstitutional"; Hamas, therefore did not recognize the President's decrees.

I view of these developments, the European Union (EU), the United States (US), and several other foreign countries announced their support to the "legitimate" authority led by Mahmoud Abbas and the Arab League; the Arab countries followed suit.

After the Gaza turmoil, several Arab and international inquiries are posed with reference to the economic, humanitarian, and more importantly political destiny of the Gaza Strip. Despite emphases made by the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah, and Hamas movement in Gaza on the geographical unity of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, the future awaiting Gaza within this conflict remains obscure.

The Results

Following are the results of the 28th Palestinian Public Opinion Poll conducted by the Center for Opinion Polls and Survey Studies at An-Najah National University during the period from June 21-22, 2007. The University sponsors all polls conducted by its Center.

This poll undertook Palestinian public opinion in the new political realities on the Palestinian scene, particularly in the incidents that took place in the Gaza Strip which led to the domination of Hamas over the Strip, and the presidential decrees that President Mahmoud Abbas issued which led to dissolving the unity government and the formation of an emergency government. This poll also undertook the attitude of Palestinian people towards the coming elections in addition to political affiliation.

The sample included 863 persons whose age group is 18 and above and who have the right to vote. The questionnaire was only distributed in the West Bank due to the difficult security circumstances in Gaza. The sample was drawn randomly and the margin of error is about 3.4%; still 2.8% of the members of the sample refused to answer the questionnaire.

The General Results:

  • 72% of respondents supported the presidential decree that President Mahmoud Abbas issued by which the unity government was dissolved
  • 73.4% of respondents supported the presidential decree that President Mahmoud Abbas issued by which a state of emergency was announced in all Palestinian territories.
  • 73.1% of respondents supported the presidential decree that President Mahmoud Abbas issued by which an emergency government was formed.
  • 49.7% of respondents considered the acts of Hamas and the Executive Force in the Gaza Strip illegitimate; 26.8% considered it a coup against the Palestinian Authority; 15.9% considered it legal and justified.
  • 57.2% of respondents believed that the security conditions in the Gaza Strip will worsen after the domination of Hamas
  • 34.2% of respondents believed that the security conditions in the Gaza Strip were better before Hamas imposed its power on the Strip.
  • 51.8% of respondents considered what Hamas did as a coup against Palestinian legitimacy.
  • %70.6 of respondents considered what Fateh did in the West Bank as a reaction to what Hamas did in the Gaza Strip.
  • 12.3% of respondents described what happened in the Gaza Strip as "skirmishes" between Fateh and Hamas while 15.4% described it as a civil war.
  • 71.4% of respondents supported the formation of an emergency government headed by Salam Fayyad.
  • 29.8% of respondents believed that an emergency government is capable of ending the security chaos in the Wes Bank.
  • 15.8% of respondents believed that an emergency government is capable of imposing its power on the Gaza Strip in the near future.
  • As for the priorities of the emergency government from the point of view of the respondents, they were as follows:
    • Restoring control over the Gaza Strip 61.1%
    • Restraining security chaos in the West Bank 78.2%
    • Restoring dialogue between Fateh and Hamas 64.7%
    • Improving the economic conditions 82.8%
    • Paying the salaries of employees 85.5%
  • 66.7% of respondents supported sending international forces to the West Bank and the Gaza Strip
  • 70.7% of respondents supported the fact finding committee that the Arab League formed.
  • 67.3% of respondents believed that what happened in the Gaza Strip was incited by outside instigations.
  • 27.5% of respondents supported Hamas's position which refused the recognition of the legitimacy of the emergency government that President Mahmoud Abbas formed.
  • 42.4% of respondents considered the emergency government formed by Mahmoud Abbas the legitimate government that represents them; 21.6% considered Ismael Hanyieh's government the legitimate one that represents them.
  • 70.1% of respondents supported conducting presidential elections before the end of this year.
  • 69.6% of respondents supported conducting legislative elections before the end of this year.
  • 52.7% of respondents believed that conducting presidential and legislative elections will relieve the Palestinian people from the present crisis.
  • 69.8% of respondents said that they will participate in the coming presidential elections. From among those who said they will participate, 50% said that they will give their votes to Fateh's candidate; 16.9% said they will give their votes to Hamas' candidate.
  • 69.5% of respondents said that they will participate in the coming legislative elections. From among those who said they will participate, 48.8% said that they will give their votes to Fateh's candidate; 18.3% said they will give their votes to Hamas' candidate.
  • 37.7% of respondents believed that Qassam Brigades will resume firing rockets from the Gaza Strip against Israel after the domination of Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
  • 26.4% of respondents believed that Hamas is capable of managing the life affairs of the citizens of the Gaza Strip.
  • 67% of respondents expressed worries that what happened in Gaza may be transferred to the West Bank.
  • 7.8% of respondents said that they would agree to move and live in Gaza now if they were offered the chance to do so.
  • 56.9% of respondents expressed fear for their lives under the present circumstances.
  • 68.8% of respondents said that they are pessimistic of the general Palestinian situation at this stage.
  • 83.9% of respondents said that they neither feel safe for themselves nor for their families and properties under the current circumstances.
  • As for political affiliation respondents gave the following results:

    Peoples Party0.5%
    Democratic Front0.5%
    Islamic Jihad2.1%
    Fateh36.4%
    Hamas14.3%
    Fida0.2%
    Popular Front3.2%
    Palestinian National Initiative0.3%
    I am an independent nationalist7.9%
    I am an independent Islamist3.2%
    None of the above30.6%
    Others0.8%

To View the Full Result as PDF (80 KB)

By the Same Author

Date: 28/03/2018
Date: 18/10/2017
Date: 17/10/2016
Date: 10/05/2016
Date: 28/11/2015

Source: An-Najah National University
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