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Friday, October 17, 2003
PSR - Survey Research Unit: Poll No. 9 - Press Release

15 October 2003

PRESS RELEASE

Palestinian Public Opinion Poll No. 9
http://www.pcpsr.org/survey/polls/2003/p9epressrelease.html

WITH ARAFAT'S POPULAIRTY REACHING ITS HIGHEST LEVEL IN FIVE YEARS, THREE
QUARTERS OF THE PALESTINIANS SUPPORT THE MAXIM RESTURANT SUICIDE BOMBING AND
TWO THIRDS BELIEVE THE ROADMAP IS DEAD. NONETHELESS, AN OVERWHELMING
MAJORITY OF 85% SUPPORTS MUTUAL CESSATION OF VIOLENCE, TWO THIRDS SUPPORT
RETURN TO HUDNA, AND 59% SUPPORT TAKING MEASURES AGAINST THOSE WHO WOULD
VIOLATE A CEASEFIRE

07-14 October 2003

The Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR) in Ramallah has
conducted a public opinion poll in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip during
the period between 07-14 October 2003. A representative sample of 1318
adults was interviewed face to face in 120 locations, with 3% margin of
error.

For further details, contact PSR director, Dr. Khalil Shikaki or Ayoub
Mustafa, at Tel 02-2964933 or email pcpsr@pcpsr.org

Table of Contents:

(1) Arafat and Palestinian Domestic Conditions
(2) Peace and Security
(3) Perceptions of the US

SUMMARY OF RESULTS:

The results of this poll point to a degree of contradictions in Palestinian
public attitudes toward domestic political issues as well as issues of peace
and security. The results show a large increase in Arafat's popularity not
seen during the last five years. They also show widespread support for his
decision to declare a state of emergency and to appoint Ahmad Qurai' as a
prime minister. In addition, 60% support placing all Palestinian security
services under the control of a national security council headed by Arafat.
Nonetheless, the overwhelming majority of Palestinians believe the increase
in support for Arafat is due to Sharon's recent threats against him.
Moreover, more than 90% still support internal and external calls for
extensive political reforms in the PA and 82% still believe that corruption
exists in the PA.

In the realm of peace and security, the findings show widespread support,
reaching 75%, for the suicide attack at the Maxim restaurant in Haifa, where
20 Israelis were killed. More than two thirds believe that the Roadmap is
dead and 78% believe that current Israeli measures, including the building
of the separation wall, reduces that chances for the establishment of a
Palestinian state in the future. Nonetheless, almost two thirds support a
return to the Hunda, 85% support mutual cessation of violence, and, for the
first time since the establishment of the PA, 59% support taking measures to
prevent attacks on Israelis after reaching an agreement on mutual cessation
of violence. Furthermore, about two thirds still support a solution based on
two states: Israel and a Palestinian state in the West Bank and the Gaza
Strip.

Main Results

(1) Arafat and Palestinian Domestic Conditions

Arafat's popularity increases from 35% last June to 50% in this poll. This
is his highest level of support in five years.
About 80% of Palestinians believe that Arafat has become stronger and more
popular due to Israeli threat to expel or assassinate him.
Two thirds support Arafat's declaration of state of emergency while 26%
oppose it
61% support the appointment of Ahmad Qurai (Abu Ala') as prime minister and
27% oppose it, but only 48% are willing, and 37% unwilling, to give
confidence to his government.
60% support placing all Palestinian security services under the command of a
national security council headed by Arafat.
46% believe that Abu Ala' and his government will be more capable than Abu
Mazin and his government in dealing with Arafat and the presidency; only 12%
believe in the opposite.
But only 22% believe that Abu Ala' and his government will be more capable
than Abu Mazin and his government in reaching an agreement with Israel; 23%
believe in the opposite.
While 62% believe that Abu Ala' and his government will be able to return to
negotiations with Israel, only 33% believe they will be able to control the
security situation and enforce a ceasefire. 44% believe they will be able to
carry out political reforms.
Fall of Abu Mazin and his government is the equal responsibility of Arafat
and Israel (27% each). Only 17% put the blame on Abu Mazin himself.
32% are satisfied with the reform steps taken by Abu Mazin and 54% are not
satisfied
90% support internal and external calls for extensive political reforms.
82% believe there is corruption in the PA and 71% believe that corruption
will increase or remain the same in the future.
Popularity of Fateh increases slightly from 26% last June to 28% in this
poll. Hamas' popularity remains almost unchanged (21%). Total support for
Islamists reaches 29% compared to 31% last June.
Marwan Barghouti remains the most popular Palestinian figure for the
position of vice president 17%, followed by Abdul Aziz Rantisi (14% compared
to 3% in an open-ended question last June), Sa'eb Erikat (9%), Ahmad Yasin
and Haidar Abdul Shafi (7% each), Farouq Qaddoumi and Hanan Ashrawi (5%
each), Ahmad Quarie' (4%), Mohammad Dahlan (2%), and Mahmoud Abbas (1%).

(2) Peace and Security

75% support the suicide attack at Maxim Restaurant in Haifa leading to the
death of 20 Israelis.
78% believe that current Israeli measures, including the building of the
separation wall, reduce the chances for the establishment of an independent
Palestinian state in the future.
But 64% still support a two-state solution (Israel and a Palestinian state
in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip), while only 12% support a one-state
solution (for Palestinians and Israelis). 23% want all Palestine back to the
Palestinians.
Percentage of those believing that armed confrontations will not stop and
negotiations will not resume soon increases from 24% last June to 39% in
this poll. 46% (compared to 56% last June) believe that the two sides will
return to negotiations while some violence will continue.
68% believe that the roadmap is dead, but 28% believe that it can still be
implemented
64% want a return to the Hudna that prevailed few weeks ago while 34% oppose
it; but 85% (compared to 80% last June) support a mutual cessation of
violence while only 14% oppose it.
If an agreement is reached on a mutual cessation of violence, 59% (compared
to 50% last June) would support taking measures by the PA to prevent attacks
on Israelis.
Despite the widespread support for the Hudna and the mutual cessation of
violence, 58% would still support Hamas' decision to oppose the ceasefire.
59% believe that current armed confrontations have helped the Palestinians
achieve national rights in ways that negotiations could not. In June, 65%
shared that belief.

(3) Perceptions of the US

96% believe that the US is not sincere when it says it works toward the
establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel.
92% believe that the US is not sincere when it says it wants political
reforms and clean government in the PA.
78% believe the US is not serious in its declared opposition to the Israeli
decision to expel or assassinate President Yasir Arafat.
97% believe the current US policy toward the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is
biased in favor of Israel.
But Palestinian evaluation of the current US conditions and policies varies
on case by case basis. For example, positive evaluation reaches 85% when
evaluating American medicine, science, and technology, and reaches 74% when
evaluating the status of gender equality, and 63% when evaluating the status
of US economic conditions. Positive evaluation drops to 53% with regards to
arts and entertainment, 53% with regard to freedom of press and expression,
and 44% to democracy and respect for human rights. Positive evaluation drops
further when it comes to treatment of minorities (17%), respect for
religious freedom (27%), or foreign policy (23%).

------------------

This PSR survey was conducted with the support of the Konrad Adenauer
Foundation in Ramallah.

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