January 2008 AWRAD poll: Results of Gaza polling company's poll pertaining to negotiations and a final status agreement

Palestinian Polls
January 2008 AWRAD poll: Results of Gaza polling company's poll pertaining to negotiations and a final status agreement
Date: 27.01.08
Source: AWRAD
Poll finds half of all Palestinians support a two state solution; less than 4% support attacks against Israeli civilians as the best means to end occupation.

Publication Date: Wednesday, 23 January 2008
Field work: 16-18 January 2008
Sample Size: 3200 Palestinians in the West Bank & Gaza
Margin of error: + 2
AWRAD - Arab World for Research & Development

Below are excerpts from the full document pertaining to negotiations and final status issues. To read the poll in its entirety, click here.

Introduction
More than anything, this poll measures the impact of the latest attacks on Gaza on Palestinians’ views. Field work began the day after the Al Zaytoun attack in Gaza City that led to the killing of 15 Palestinians. The field work took place between 16 -18th of January, as the attacks on Gaza continued. During the period of 15-18th January, 35 Palestinians were killed and 125 injured. In fact, on two occasions the lives of our field researchers were threatened, as missiles were fired in close proximity to their work stations. These attacks came immediately after United States President Bush, visited the region and met with Palestinian and Israeli officials.

The situation on the ground led to major shifts in public opinion, confirming the hypothesis that military approaches and violence reinforce hard-line positions, and negatively influence the lot of all parties involved, especially the credibility of the president of the PNA and his government.


One: Highlights

• 64% do not think that the current negotiations will lead to a Palestinian state.
• 49% support a two-state solution based on UN Resolution 242 (a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza side-by-side to an Israeli state)
• 95% say that the issue of control over Jerusalem is very important, and 94% say that the issue of prisoner release is very important.
• 42% believe that negotiation until an agreement is reached between the two parties is the best means to end the occupation and establish a Palestinian state.
• Less than 4% support attacks against Israeli civilians as the best means to end occupation. However, 28% support attacks against soldiers and settlers.

Two: Analysis of Results

Negotiations and Final-Settlement Issues
1. Hopes and expectations of the Negotiations - The events in Gaza have dramatically changed Palestinians' attitudes towards the launching of a negotiations process as an outcome of the Annapolis meeting. The majority of Palestinians (50%) do not support this outcome, whereas, in a previous poll conducted by AWRAD in December 2007, after the convening of Annapolis, 49% showed their support for this outcome.
- Palestinians in both the West Bank and Gaza are pessimistic. The majority (64%) do not believe the current round of negotiations will lead to a Palestinian state with full sovereignty over the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
- Discontent with the current negotiations process does not lead to lack of support for negotiations in principle. About 42% of the respondents still believe that negotiations are the best means in terms of their capability to end the occupation and establish a Palestinian state. This is compared with 27% who support operations against the Israeli military and settlers in the occupied territories.

2. Scenarios for Final-Status Issues
When the respondents were asked about the final settlement for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, they provided the following answers that show a decrease in Palestinian support for a two-state solution, land exchange and the division of Jerusalem.

• A Two-State Solution
63% support (or support to an extent) a two-state solution based on UN Resolution 242 (a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza side by side with Israel). This is compared to 73% in our previous poll (November 25, 2007).
• Refugees
The majority (64%) of respondents support (or support to an extent) a solution of the refugee problem that is based on allowing the return of the majority of refugees to the West Bank and Gaza, and some refugees to 1948 proper (Israel).
• Jerusalem
About 32% of respondents support (or support to an extent) a solution based on dividing the holy city of Jerusalem with Palestinian control of the east side and Israeli control of the west side, with the possibility of exchanging areas from each side. It was noticeable that the opposition (and opposition to an extent) to this scenario is much higher than the support (67%). These feelings might be related to the degree of importance of this issue to the Palestinians.
• Settlements
About 58% of the respondents oppose the scenario that stipulates dismantling the majority of settlements, but allows for a land swap that would provide for Israel’s annexation of some settlements in exchange for land from 1948 proper to be given to the Palestinians. In contrast, 29% support such a
scenario.

3. Relevance of Issues
• Consistent with the previous poll conducted by AWRAD in November, the vast majority of respondents expressed that all final-status issues (refugees, settlements, Jerusalem and prisoners) are very important in the negotiations process.
• Jerusalem came at the top of the list, with 95% saying it is very important for negotiators to give it a priority.
• This was followed by the issue of prisoners, where 94% said it is very important.
• Eighty-eight percent said that the issue of refugees is very important (8% said it was important) and 80% felt the same way about the issue of settlements (with an additional 12% saying that this issue was important to them).