Half of Arabs Say Jerusalem Clashes Mean War

Poll in eastern Jerusalem, Gaza, Judea and Samaria reveals 75% miss Arafat, 90% think Sweden set off recognition trend.

Ari Yashar,

Arab rioter in Jerusalem (file)
Arab rioter in Jerusalem (file)
Hadas Parush/Flash 90

A new poll released on Thursday and conducted from October 15-28 among the Arab population in eastern Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and Gaza reveals half anticipate the current tensions in Jerusalem will lead to a war with Israel.

The poll was conducted by the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion (PCPO) in Beit Sahour, just to the east of Bethlehem in Judea, which is registered under the Palestinian Authority (PA). A random sample of 1,000 Arab respondents were polled, 61.5% in Judea and Samaria, and 38.5% in Gaza.

The office of the Palestinian president released a statement saying that ‘opening of separate gates for the Jews to enter the premises of the Holy al-Aqsa Mosque would be considered as a unilateral measure that would torpedo any opportunity for reinstating the peace process. Do you agree to this statement or not?”, (85.6%) said “Yes, I agree”, (4.1%) “No, I don’t agree” 

One of the key findings of the study was that when asked whether they expect a a "new violent confrontation with Israel" in the near future in light of the daily clashes in Jerusalem, 50% answered "yes," and 22% said they didn't know, leaving those opposing the prognosis at a mere 28%.

Likewise, a full 74.1% said they miss former PA Chairman Yasser Arafat, whose ten year memorial is next week. Palestinian Media Watch has noted PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's calls for the current violence in Jerusalem mirror Arafat's call for the 2000 Second Intifada.

On the international front, 89.3% said the Swedish decision to recognize the PA as the "state of Palestine" late last month "is an important step for the beginning of a recognition process by other European countries.

However, only 42.3% support a return to peace talks with Israel.

Regarding Egypt, which recently has been expelling Gazans, destroying their homes and implementing a buffer zone, 59.6% said Egypt is playing a positive role in the "Palestinian cause," while 35.4% called their role negative.

Leadership, Fatah-Hamas rivalry

In terms of leadership, 35.8% said they would vote for Abbas if he ran for president of the unity government, while 28.3% said they would vote for Hamas leader Ismael Haniyeh. A full 28.1% said they will boycott unity elections.

If Abbas does not run for the post, jailed Fatah arch-terrorist Marwan Barghouti would lead with 19.7%, followed by Haniyeh at 17.6%, and current unity government Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah at 12.3%. No less than 17.2% would boycott the elections.

Regarding Abbas's conditioning the unity deal with Hamas's arms being in the hands of the unity government, 42.7% supported the demand, while 31.1% opposed.

However, a full 49.6% supported Haniyeh who vowed not to compromise on the "arms of the Palestinian resistance." Only 24.6% opposed the statement.

And as for the PA's warning of international donors to predicate international funding of Gaza on PA control of the region, 30% agreed, while 40.8% opposed.

Hamas and Fatah are locked in tensions, with the homes of senior Fatah leaders in Gaza being mysteriously bombed Thursday night, causing Hamdallah to cancel a visit on Saturday. It is suspected Hamas may have been behind the blasts, and meant for it to prevent a rally for Arafat in the region next week.




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