Two recent polls conducted among Palestinian Authority (PA) Arabs show that on the one hand, young PA Arabs see violence as futile in the struggle against Israel -- but on the other, more than 50 percent still support attacks.
A poll conducted by the United Nations Development Program found that 69 percent of the 1,200 PA Arabs questioned said the use of violence against Israel is “not very helpful.” Only eight percent said violence is “an important tool” in their struggle against Israel.
However, a joint Israel-PA poll conducted by Hebrew University researchers and the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PCPSR) in early March showed that 54 percent of PA Arabs support terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians living west of the 1949 armistice line, also known as the "Green Line." Previous polls show that a higher number express support for attacks on Israelis living in Judea and Samaria.
The PCPSR found that more than 83 percent of PA Arabs supported a 2008 attack in Jerusalem that left eight people dead, most of them high school students.
Youth Increasingly Depressed, Define Selves as Muslims
The UNDP poll also found that most young PA Arabs say they are depressed. In Gaza, more than 50 percent of young adults labeled themselves “extremely depressed.” Youth blamed their depression on surrounding conditions, including poverty and unemployment.
In addition, the poll found a shift in identity among PA Arab youth. The plurality, 47 percent, defined themselves as Muslims, while only 28 percent defined themselves as “Palestinian.” Ten percent categorized themselves as Arab, while 14 percent simply called themselves human.