April 2008 Palestinian public opinion poll finds majority of Palestinians support continued negotiations for peace, but support is on the decline due

Palestinian Polls
Monday, 21 April 2008
April 2008 Palestinian public opinion poll finds majority of Palestinians support continued negotiations for peace, but support is on the decline due to lack of progress on the ground
Date: 21.04.08
Source: Al-Quds Center
Poll also finds a large majority of the Palestinian public favors halting negotiations if construction in settlements continues.

EAST JERUSALEM – The results of a public opinion poll held in the West Bank and Gaza Strip by the Al-Quds Center for Information and Communication in April indicates widespread despair on the Palestinian street regarding the future of the Palestinian issue and the peace process, with most respondents supporting freezing negotiations with Israel in the case construction in settlements and the military escalation continue. Support for both the Fatah movement and the Hamas movement has gone down, with Fatah gaining 32.5% support and Hamas gaining 17.5%. A similar trend was seen with regard to the political leaderships, with President Mahmoud Abbas securing 11.7% support and dismissed prime minister Haniyeh garnering 13.3%. Likewise, the results indicate a decrease in public satisfaction from the performance of Salam Fayyad's government, the presidency, and the majority of Fayyad supporters within the Fatah movement.

The poll sampled 1199 people, and a summary of its results regarding attitudes towards the peace process are as follows:

General support for negotiations has gone down from 67.9% in a poll held in December 2007 to 61.2% in the current poll. Specific support for the process launched at Annapolis in November was measured at 30.8%, with an opposition of 25.7%. A majority of 41% sees no difference between continuing the negotiations or not continuing, as, as they see it, the negotiations are not advancing anything.

Regarding Abbas' statement indicating he may freeze negotiations if construction in settlements continues, 78.8% of Palestinians were found to support such a step, with only 13.3% favoring continued negotiations under the shadow of the settlements.

The decline is support for negotiations mirrors the decline in moderation in political positions. Thus, support for a two-state solution has gone down from 53% in December 2007 to 47.1% now. These figures correspond to the level of optimism regarding the prospects of reaching a peaceful solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, standing at 44.9% in a poll held ion March 2007 and at 36.2% in the current poll.