Ma'an News Agency
June 21, 2011 - 12:00am

A poll conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research found the majority of Palestinians would prefer Salam Fayyad as prime minister and Mahmoud Abbas as president.

The results of the poll, released Monday, also showed that reconciliation talks had improved the public perception of Hamas more than Fatah.

The poll was conducted in the West Bank and Gaza Strip by PCPSR between June 16-18. The Palestinian public were asked for their opinion on issues including the future of reconciliation talks, the performance of Hamas and Fatah and the most serious problems facing Palestinians.

Reconciliation agreement

A majority of 59 percent of Palestinians believe Fatah and Hamas will succeed in implementing the reconciliation agreement and unifying the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the survey revealed.

However, 55 percent also believe that the formation of a reconciliation government will lead to an international boycott and economic sanctions.

In a choice between Fatah candidate Salam Fayyad, and Hamas candidate Jamal Khudari, 45 percent favor Fayyad for prime minister with 22 percent choosing Khudari. Twenty-one percent were undecided and 12 percent chose other candidates.

As for the shape of the unity deal, 61 percent want the unity government to follow the policies and peace agenda of President Mahmoud Abbas and the PLO rather than Hamas policies, which had the support of 18 percent of respondents.

Twenty-nine percent of those surveyed believe the fall of the Mubarak regime in Egypt lead to the reconciliation deal, while 27 percent said youth demonstrations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip forced the two sides to sign the agreement. Twenty-one percent believe that the failure of negotiations with Israel forced the agreement.

Half of the public, 50 percent, says that both Fatah and Hamas emerged as winners from the reconciliation agreement, with 12 percent saying that Hamas came out as the winner and 11 percent saying Fatah.

Domestic conditions

Twenty-five percent of people describe conditions in the Gaza Strip as good or very good, with 47 percent describing them as bad or very bad. In June 2010, only 9 percent described conditions as good.

Thirty-seven percent describe conditions in the West Bank as good or very good, with 29 percent describing them as bad or very bad.

Seventy-one percent of interviewees say there is corruption in PA institutions in the West Bank while 60 percent said the same thing of the Hamas-run Gaza Strip.

Sixty-one percent say that there is, or there is to some extent, press freedom in the West Bank, while 47 percent say the same thing of the Gaza Strip.

Thirty-one percent of people in the West Bank feel that they can criticize the Palestinian Authority without fear, while 25 percent of people in Gaza can criticize Hamas without fear.

The public perception of safety and security is higher in Gaza than in the West Bank, standing at 80 percent compared to 56 percent. However, the percentage of people who say either political, security or economic conditions would force them to emigrate is higher in Gaza then the West Bank, at 40 percent and 26 percent, respectively.

Presidency and legislative elections

If new presidential elections were held today, and only two candidates were nominated, Abbas would receive 54 percent of public support, with Haniyeh receiving 38 percent. Support for Abbas stood at 51 percent in Gaza and 56 percent in the West Bank.

If presidential elections were held between Marwan Barghouti and Ismail Haniyeh, the former would receive 61 percent and the latter only 31 percent of the vote.

The most popular figures selected by the public as possible vice-presidents from a list of five provided to respondents are: Marwan Barghouti, 27 percent, Ismail Haniyeh, 22 percent, Salam Fayyad, 17 percent, Mustafa Barghouti, 9 percent, and Saeb Erekat, 4 percent.

If new legislative elections were held today with the participation of all factions, 69 percent say they would participate in such elections.

Of those who would participate, 28 percent said they would vote for Hamas and 42 percent said they would vote for Fatah.

Ten percent would vote for all other third parties combined, and 19 percent were undecided.

Most vital Palestinian goals and the main problems confronting Palestinians today

Forty-eight percent said ending the Israeli occupation and building a state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip with East Jerusalem as its capital should be the most vital goal for Palestinians.

Twenty-six percent believe obtaining the right of return for refugees is the most important issue, with 15 percent believing that building a religious society that applies all Islamic teachings is the most important goal.

The most serious problem affecting Palestinian society is perceived to be the spread of poverty and unemployment, according to 36 percent of the public, while 30 percent believe it is the continuation of the Israeli occupation and settlement activities.

The total size of the sample was 1,200 adults interviewed face-to-face in 120 randomly select locations. The margin of error was stated at three percent.


American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017