September NEC poll: 74% of Palestinians support peace with Israel, 76% support Palestinian participation in Annapolis summit

September NEC poll: 74% of Palestinians support peace with Israel, 76% support Palestinian participation in Annapolis summit
Date: 07.10.07
Source: Al-Quds
By Zaki Abu-Halawa
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The following are excerpts from an article published in Al-Quds, 7/10/2007:

The most recent survey by the Near East Consulting polling agency finds:

76% of Palestinians support Palestinian participation in the fall peace conference.
60% praise the government of Salam Fayyad and view it as legitimate.
60% live below the poverty line, 25% are unemployed, and 86% are worried about their situation.
73% express confidence in President Abbas, 27% express confidence in Haniyeh, and 81% support Fatah's strategy.

By Zaki Abu-Halawa

A public opinion poll conducting by the Near East Consulting polling agency finds that 76% of Palestinians support Palestinian participation in the peace conference that will address Middle East matters and be held in the coming fall.

The results of the poll indicate that 92% of Fatah-supporters favor participating in the peace conference, as opposed to 61% of Hamas-supporters who oppose Palestinian participation in the conference.

The survey was conducted by phone on September 28-30, among a random sample of 1000 Palestinian from the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

Despite the respondents' support for Palestinian participation in the peace conference, 61% of them reckon the conference will fail in achieving progress on the peace process and final status issues.

Likewise, 57% of respondents said Israel would a the main beneficiary from holding the conference, as opposed to 20% who believed the Palestinians would, 18% who believed the Americans would, and 5% who believed the Arab states would be the main beneficiaries.

The issue of Jerusalem was rated top in importance among final status issues, with 46% of respondents classifying it the most important issue to the Palestinians. 29% rated the issue of refugees as most important, 13% rated the issue of borders as most important, 8% rated the issue of settlements as most important, and 5% saw the issue of water as such.

74% of Palestinians expressed their support for signing a final peace settlement with Israel, as opposed to 26% who opposed it.

The legitimate government

60% of respondents stated they believe Salam Fayyad's Caretaker government is headed in the right direction. 38% said they felt highly secure under the Fayyad government, while 46% said there had been no change in the security situation, compared with 16% who said there had been a decline in security following the actions of the Caretaker government.

32% expressed high confidence in Prime Minister Fayyad, 45% expressed average confidence in him, and 23% expressed low confidence in him.

Regarding the legitimacy of the government in the occupied Palestinian territories, 55% said Fayyad's Caretaker government was the legitimate government, while 22% stressed the legitimacy of Haniyeh's Hamas government in Gaza. 23% said there was currently no legitimate government for the Palestinians.

Trust in the leaderships

President Abbas' popularity has risen compared to that of the deposed prime minister, Haniyeh. 73% of Palestinians said they trust President Abbas, compared with 27% who said they trust Haniyeh. President Abbas' popularity In the Gaza Strip has risen and stands at 82%, compared with 64% in the Gaza Strip.

Compared with Near East Consulting's poll from the month before, public support for Abbas has risen by 9% (up to 73% from 64%). This is the highest rate of support Abbas has seen since January 2006.

Among possible Palestinian leaders, President Abbas was named most trusted Palestinian personality by 28% of respondents, which is the highest percentage. Next was prisoner Marwan Barghouti, who received the support of 13%, and following him was MP Mustafa Barghouti, who received 10%. The deposed prime minister, Haniyeh, received the support of 10%, the head of the Caretaker government, Dr. Salam Fayyad, received 7%, Mohammad Dahlan received 3%, an Hamas political leader Khaled Meshal received 3%. 23% of respondents said they did not trust any of the above mentioned people.

The results of the survey underline the rise in Marwan Barghouti's popularity in the West Bank, where 17% expressed their support for him compared with 8% in the Gaza Strip. Conversely, Ismail Haniyeh's popularity in the Gaza Strip has risen to 15% compared with 7% in the West Bank.