June 15, 2010: A new Palestinian public opinion poll

Palestinian poll conducted in the West Bank and Gaza between 10-13 June 2010 finds that in the aftermath of the Free Gaza flotilla incident, Turkey is the most popular regional country, but Hamas's popularity remains unchanged while Salam Fayyad and his government gain greater public support.


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 10 and 13 June 2010. Total size of the sample is 1270. Margin of error is 3%.
Main Findings:
Findings of the second quarter of 2010 indicate that despite the events associated with the Free Gaza flotilla and the Israeli attack on it, a significant improvement in the status of Salam Fayyad and his government has been registered. Moreover, findings also show no change in the popularity of Hamas compared to its standing in our previous poll last March.
Findings show that the public views positively the outcome associated with the Israeli attack on the Free Gaza flotilla seeing it as a victory for Palestinians and the beginning of the end or the weakening of the Gaza siege. But perhaps the biggest winner is Turkey who emerges from this as the most popular regional country. Findings also show that the decision to boycott settlements products is clearly supported by a majority of the Palestinians. But the decision to prevent Palestinian laborers from working in Israeli settlements is rejected by the majority.
(1) In the aftermath of the Free Gaza flotilla incident: Turkey wins
  • In an open question about the regional country seen as the most supportive of the Palestinians and their cause, 43% mentioned Turkey while only 13% mentioned Egypt, followed by 6% for Iran, 5% for Saudi Arabia, 5% for Syria, 3% for Lebanon, and 2% for Jordan. Turkey is slightly more popular in the Gaza Strip (45%) than in the West Bank (41%). It is interesting to note that Egypt has been mentioned by 25% of Gazans compared to only 6% of West Bankers.
  • A majority of 63% believe the Palestinian side is the one who came out the winner from the Free Gaza flotilla incident while 27% believe Israel came out the winner and 9% believe none of them came out a winner. Moreover, a majority of 60% believe that in the aftermath of the incident, the Gaza siege will be weakened or ended while only 18% believe it will be strengthened.
  • Among Gazans, positive evaluation of the performance of the Haniyeh government remains unchanged since last March at 38%. But positive evaluation of the performance of the Fayyad government increases from 42% last March to 48% in this poll. Moreover, satisfaction with Abbas’s performance increases slightly during the same period from 47% to 49%.
  • Perception that compared to the Haniyeh government, the Fayyad government is the legitimate one increases, with 27% indicating that the Haniyeh government is the legitimate one while 31% say the Fayyad government is the legitimate one; and 10% say both governments are legitimate and 27% say both are illegitimate.
  • The performance of the Fayyad government receives positive evaluation in the area of service delivery and negative evaluation in the area of freedoms. Three years after the establishment of the first Fayyad government, larger percentages believe conditions have become better in the areas of economy (47%), enforcement of law and order (57%), educational services (54%), and health services (56%)


(2) The struggle over the presidency
  • If new presidential elections are held today, Abbas would receive the vote of 54% and Haniyeh 39% of the vote of those participating while 7% say they are undecided.
  • Last March Abbas received 50% and Haniyeh 40%. If the presidential elections were between Marwan Barghouti and Ismail Haniyeh, the former would receive 65% and the latter would receive 30% of the participants with non-participation rate dropping in this case to 28%.


(3) Boycott of settlements’ products and work in settlements
  • While a majority of 72% support and 26% oppose a boycott of settlements’ products, only 38% support and 60% oppose preventing Palestinian laborers from working in settlements. While the Gaza Strip and the West Bank support the boycott of settlements’ products equally, support for preventing laborers from working in settlements is greater in the Gaza Strip, reaching 45%, than the West Bank (34%).