Majority of Palestinians Support Ongoing Violence, New Poll Shows

A Palestinian protester holds stones during clashes with Israeli security forces on March 11, 2016, following a demonstration in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails, outside the compound of the Israeli-run Ofer prison near Betunia in the occupied West Bank.

TEL AVIV – Nearly 60% of Palestinians support the current so-called wave of terror attacks against Israelis, according to a new survey published Sunday.

Just 41% of those polled oppose the violence.

The survey found a sharp contrast between Gaza and the West Bank, with 79% of Gazans backing the attacks, compared to 51% of Palestinians in the West Bank.

The survey was conducted by the Palestinian research institute, the Jerusalem Media and Communications Center (JMCC) earlier this month, and covered some 1,200 Palestinians from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, with a margin of error of three percentage points.

Respondents showed a slight decline in support for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, with only 45.3% satisfied with his performance compared to 52.4% in August. Still, Abbas maintains his position as most trusted leader, with Hamas’ Ismail Haniyeh taking second place with 10% and jailed Fatah-Tanzim leader Marwan Barghouti coming in third with 9.9%.

The two-state solution still remains the most acceptable resolution to the conflict, with an overwhelming majority of nearly 70% opposing any change in the official policy of the Palestinian Authority.

Only 24% of respondents supported a change in policy demanding a one-state solution with Arabs and Jews living side by side.

Palestinians’ level of trust in Hamas slipped to 16.5% from 22% a year ago. Confidence in Abbas’s Fatah movement increased slightly from 34% to 35.5%.

The survey found  that 52.1% thought Islamic State actions hurt the Palestinian people.

22.5% of Palestinians said they would favor the European Union as a mediator in negotiations with Israel, with 19.2% choosing Egypt and only 4.9% opting for the United States.

Asked about security cooperation with Israel, Palestinians are divided. 48.2% backed ending coordination with Israel while 43.4% favored its continuation.

The JMCC found that a further 52.7% of Palestinians said they’d oppose ending security coordination if it would affect civilian issues such as permits for travel in Israel.