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PA Arabs Support UN Bid, Want Sovereignty in Judea & Samaria

Poll conducted among PA Arabs finds massive support for the UN statehood bid and for exercising sovereignty throughout Judea and Samaria.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 9/20/2011, 7:21 AM

A recent poll conducted among Palestinian Authority Arabs has found massive support for the unilateral statehood bid in the United Nations, but also found that a majority expects U.S. and Israeli financial and political sanctions.

The poll was conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR) in the PA-controlled areas of Judea, Samaria and Gaza between September 15 and 17. The poll was conducted after the PLO declaration of its intention to seek membership in the UN.

The poll found 83 percent of PA Arabs support going to the United Nations Security Council to obtain recognition of Palestine as a state. Moreover, 74 percent believe that there is no point in returning to negotiations with Israel without acceptable terms of reference (i.e. preconditions) or without freezing Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria.

An overwhelming majority of 78 percent of respondents said they expect Israel to suspend transfer of custom funds to the PA, set up more security checkpoints and expand construction of Jewish homes in Judea and Samaria.

Similarly, 64 percent said they expect the U.S. to respond to the UN move by suspending its financial contribution to the PA or by suspending the contribution and imposing political restrictions.

Seventy-seven percent said they expect the U.S. to use its veto power at the Security Council (as President Obama has said he would do) to prevent admission of Palestine to the UN, but 58 percent believe that most European countries will recognize the new state of Palestine.

Three-quarters of respondents said they want the PA to exercise sovereignty throughout Judea and Samaria after the recognition of Palestine in the UN, even if such a measure leads to a confrontation between the PA and the IDF.

Similarly, 73 percent said they want the PA to assert sovereignty over the Allenby crossing with Jordan, even if such a step leads to the closure of the crossing.

Only 35 percent said they support a return to an armed struggle against Israel, while 64 percent said they oppose it. Sixty-one percent said they support resort to popular, unarmed and non-violent resistance, and 54 percent say they will participate in peaceful demonstrations that would seek to breach checkpoints and block roads after the UN recognition of the state of Palestine.

The poll also dealt with domestic conditions in Hamas-ruled Gaza and the Fatah-ruled Judea and Samaria and the findings were quite interesting.

Twenthy-three percent described the conditions in Hamas-controlled Gaza as good or very good and 50 percent described them as bad or very bad. By contrast, 39 percent describe conditions in Judea and Samaria, which has economic, security and other connections with Israel, as good or very good and only 30 percent describe them as bad or very bad.

A large majority of 65 percent said there is, or there is to some extent, press freedom in Judea and Samaria, while 30 percent said there is no such freedom. By contrast, only 48 percent said there is, or there is to some extent, press freedom in Gaza while 38 percent said there is no such freedom there.

The findings show that the percentage of Gazans who say they seek immigration to other countries stands at 49 percent, while only 28 percent of residents of Judea and Samaria seek to immigrate to other countries.

The poll also found that 52 eprcent of PA Arabs support PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, while 44 percent said they were dissatisfied with his performance. Satisfaction with Abbas’ performance stands at 39 percent in Gaza and 59 percent in Judea and Samaria.

Abbas’ increasing popularity is also reflected in the finding that if new presidential elections were held today between Abbas and Hamas’ Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, Abbas would receive 59 percent of the vote while Haniyeh would receive 34 percent.

In Gaza, Abbas receives 51 percent and Haniyeh receives 42 percent while in Judea and Samaria Abbas’ victory is even greater, with him receiving 63 percent of the votes while Haniyeh only receives 29 percent.

A victory would also be achieved by jailed Fatah leader and largescale terrorist murderer  Marwan Barghouti if he ran against Haniyeh, the poll found. In this case, Barghouti would receive 65 percent and Haniyeh would receive 30 percent of the participants’ votes.

The poll was conducted among 1,200 adults interviewed face to face in 120 randomly selected locations.