Palestinian Authority: 85% say they want Sharia law

The pro-Sharia majority is divided: half want Sharia in conjunction with civil law, half say, 'Only Sharia.'

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Hillel Fendel,

Arab women
Arab women
Flash 90

Only a quarter of Gaza residents blame Israel for the electricity crisis from which they suffer. This, according to a poll carried out last month by the Ramallah- and Jerusalem-based Jerusalem Media and Communication Centre (JMCC).

JMCC was established in 1988 by an Arab group of journalists and researchers in areas of Judea and Samaria now under Palestinian Authority control.

In its most recent poll, cited above, 1199 PA residents people over the age of 18, randomly selected, were interviewed face-to-face The interviews were conducted in randomly selected homes in Gaza, Judea, and Samaria, and the margin of error is +/-3 percent.

Over 85% (!) said that the Palestinian Personal Status Law must be based on the principles of Islamic Sharia. Half of these said it must be exclusively Sharia, while the other half said it should be based both on Sharia and civil law. Only 14.7% said it should be based only on civil law.

Another question was: "Who is more responsible for the aggravation of the electricity crisis in the Gaza Strip?" Of the 449 respondents who live in Gaza, nearly half (49.4%) said, "the Hamas government in Gaza," and 21.2% blamed the Palestinian National Authority; Only 25.8% of the Gaza residents blamed Israel; this proportion was nearly twice as high among the PA residents living outside Gaza.

Asked if they feel that Mahmoud Abbas "is performing his job as President of the PA: in a good, average or in a bad way," 35.4% said, "bad," while 28.7% said, "good." It should be noted that in January 2005, Abbas was elected to head the PA until Jan. 2009, thus that he is now in the 13th year of his four-year term. He has used the conflict between his Fatah faction and Hamas as an excuse to remain in power, as no elections have been held since he took office. 46.9% of the respondents said they prefer that elections be held even before a reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas is achieved.

Asked what is the best method to achieve the goals of "ending the occupation and establishing a [PA] state," 27.1% of those in Judea and Samaria said, "Armed resistance;" this was the choice of 35.6% in Gaza. A total of 37.6% chose "peaceful negotiations."

Three-quarter of the respondents believe "there is corruption" in the PA, while 16.2% said there is none. Nearly 40% said the government collects taxes and other fees from citizens in a fair manner only "to a small extent."

A full 68.9% do not expect Fatah and Hamas to reconciliation in 2017. Nearly 20% blames Hamas for this state of affairs, while 12% blame Fatah and 39.2 blamed both. No information was provided on how the respondents in Gaza as opposed to those in Judea and Samaria responded. 22.9% blamed Israel.

One of the poll questions was: "If negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians were to be resumed, who would you prefer to act as mediator between the two sides?" Only 7.6% chose the U.S., while 23.7% chose the European Union. The Mideast Quartet, the United Nations and Egypt were chosen by 16.1%, 14.3% and 18%, respectively.

Asked to choose one word to define themselves, 52.5% of those in Judea and Samaria said, "Palestinian;" this was the choice of 58.1% in Gaza. Only 21.7% said, "Muslim," and 5.3% said "Arab."








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