Poll: Majority of Palestinians Oppose PA’s Rejection of Trump Peace Plan

US President Donald Trump (L) and Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wave after delivering a speech at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem on May 23, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / GIL COHEN-MAGEN (Photo credit should read GIL COHEN-MAGEN/AFP/Getty Images)
COHEN-MAGEN/AFP/Getty

TEL AVIV – A majority of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza oppose the Palestinian leadership’s sight-unseen rejection of the Trump-administration’s peace plan and would prefer a “wait-and-see” approach, according to a new poll by the Palestine Center for Public Opinion led by Dr. Nabil Kukali.

The poll, cited by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy last week, found that only a third of Palestinians felt that the PA should “reject the plan now so as to maintain our position.”

Around a quarter of West Bank and Gaza Palestinians responded that the Palestinian Authority “should not reject the plan, so Israel won’t be able to take advantage of the rejection” and a further quarter maintained that “the PA should look at the plan when it is officially released, before taking any position on it.”

In June, a $50 billion economic portion of the Trump administration’s peace plan was unveiled at an economic peace conference in Bahrain that was snubbed by the Palestinians. 

According to the poll, half the respondents thought the conference was “a bad idea.”

Only 30% of respondents from Gaza, and 14% in the West Bank, thought the event was “a good idea.”

“But an extraordinarily high 40% of West Bankers, and 19% of Gazans, say they haven’t heard or read enough about the Bahrain workshop to offer an opinion about it — perhaps, at least in some cases, because they are reluctant to contradict the official PA and Hamas opposition to it,” according to the Washington Institute.

An overwhelming majority of Palestinians believed Arab states should be involved in the peace process.

Eighty-six percent of Gazans and 61% of West Bankers agreed with the following statement: “Arab states should take a more active role in Palestinian-Israeli peacemaking, offering both sides incentive to take more moderate positions.”

“Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Muhammed bin Salman gets a good rating from 22% of West Bankers and 38% of Gazans. And Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan leads the pack by far: a remarkable three-quarters of Palestinian respondents in both territories credit him with a favorable rating,” the Washington Institute said.

The poll also showed that nearly nine out of ten Palestinians held a negative view of US President Donald Trump.

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