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Monday, August 17, 2009
Palestinian Public Opinion Poll No (33): Support up for Abbas, Fatah 53%:46% fear they or a member of their family would be hurt by other Palestinians

53% say they are worried that they or a member of their family would be hurt
by other Palestinians, from Fateh or Hamas, and 46% say they are not
worried. Respondents in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank are equally
worried. Three months ago, respondents in the Gaza Strip were more worried
than respondents in the West Bank (65% to 50%) which means that the level of
worry has dropped considerably in the Gaza Strip and increased slightly in
the West Bank.

PSR - Survey Research Unit: Poll No. 33 - Press Release
www.pcpsr.org/survey/polls/2009/p33epressrelease.html

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17 August 2009

PRESS RELEASE

Palestinian Public Opinion Poll No (33)

While the popularity of Abbas and Fateh increases and the popularity of
Ismail Haniyeh and Hamas decreases, and while perception of personal and
family security and safety increases and perception of corruption in PA
institutions decreases, the public remains pessimistic about the future of
reconciliation and shows total lack of confidence in the ability of
elections to restore the unity of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip

13-15 August 2009

These are the results of the latest poll conducted by the Palestinian Center
for Policy and Survey Research (PSR) in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip
between 13 and 15 August 2009. The poll was conducted in the aftermath of
the holding of Fateh's Sixth Congress in Bethlehem and Hamas's refusal to
allow Fateh members to leave the Gaza Strip to participate in the Congress.
Total size of the sample is 1270 adults interviewed face to face in 127
randomly selected locations. Margin of error is 3%. This press release
covers domestic Palestinian issues; issues related to the peace process and
Israeli-Palestinian relations will be covered in a separate joint
Palestinian-Israeli press release. For further details, contact PSR
director, Dr. Khalil Shikaki, or Walid Ladadweh at tel 02-296 4933 or email
pcpsr@pcpsr.org.

Main Findings:

Findings of the third quarter of 2009 show an increase in the popularity of
Fateh and president Mahmud Abbas and a decline in the popularity of Hamas
and Ismail Haniyeh, the dismissed prime minister. The rise in the popularity
of Fateh and Abbas might in part be the result of Fateh's success in holding
its long awaited Sixth Congress and electing a new leadership. The decline
in support for Hamas might in part be the result of its refusal to allow
Fateh members in the Gaza Strip to travel to Bethlehem to participate in
Fateh's Sixth Congress. Findings show additional and perhaps deeper reasons
for the change in the balance of power between Fateh and Hamas. For example,
they show considerable improvement in public perception of personal and
family security and safety in the West Bank and a noticeable decrease in the
public perception of the existence of corruption in PA institutions under
Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad. In this context, findings show some
optimism about the future of Fateh in the aftermath of its Sixth Congress
and about the ability of its newly elected leadership to fight corruption
inside the movement and to deliver reconciliation with Hamas. But the public
does not believe that the new leadership will be different from the previous
one in its ability to work to end the Israeli occupation.

Findings also show public confusion regarding new presidential and
parliamentary elections. A majority believes that reconciliation talks
between Fateh and Hamas will fail. A majority also believes that PA
president and parliament will lose their legitimacy next January when their
terms end. Nonetheless, a wide majority opposes postponing the elections and
a majority also opposes holding elections under the current status quo, with
Haniyeh's government supervising it in the Gaza Strip and Fayyad's
government supervising it in the West Bank, even if they were organized by a
single unified election commission. Moreover, an overwhelming majority
opposes holding separate elections in either the Gaza Strip, organized by
the Haniyeh government, or in the West Bank, organized by the Fayyad
government. In any case, findings show that the public has no confidence in
the ability of the legislative and presidential elections to contribute to
the re-unification of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. An overwhelming
majority believes that the two sides, Fateh and Hamas, or one of them, will
reject the results of any new fair and free elections if those results were
not in its favor.

Finally, despite the improvement in the perception of personal and family
security and safety, particularly in the West Bank, a majority of those who
have been attacked or robbed during the past year says they have not
complained to the police either because they do not trust it or because it
can do nothing useful for them. Worse yet, the overwhelming majority of
those who did submit a complaint to the police says they are not satisfied
with the police performance. Findings show that lack of trust with the
police increases in the Gaza Strip compared to the West Bank, but
dissatisfaction with the performance of the police is similar to that in the
West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

a.. Increase in the percentage of those who would vote for Mahmud Abbas as
president of the PA from 49% three months ago to 52% in this poll and a
decrease in the vote for Ismail Haniyeh from 44% to 38%. 9% remain undecided
in this poll and only 60% say they would participate in those elections.
However, if the competition was between Marwan Barghouti and Ismail Haniyeh,
the former would receive 62% of the vote and the latter 31%. 7% remain
undecided and rate of participation increases to 71%.
b.. Increase in the percentage of those who would vote for Fateh from 41%
three months ago to 44% in this poll and a decrease in the percentage of
those who would vote for Hamas from 33% to 28% during the same period. Vote
for all other electoral lists reaches 11% and 17% remain undecided. Rate of
election participation stands at 68%.
c.. Most popular figures selected by the public as possible vice president
are Marwan Barghouti (selected by 37% of the public), Ismail Haniyeh (21%),
Mustafa Barghouti (9%), Salam Fayyad (7%), and Saeb Erekat (4%).
d.. Significant improvement in public perception of personal and family
safety and security in the West Bank, standing today at 58% compared to 43%
one year ago, 35% two years ago, and 25% four years ago (just few months
before the last parliamentary elections in January 2006). Findings also show
some improvement in the perception of personal and family safety and
security in the Gaza Strip, standing today at 63% compared to 54% one year
ago, 49% two years ago, and 55% four years ago (immediately after the
Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and few months before the last
parliamentary elections).
e.. Continued decline in the perception that corruption exists in PA
institutions under the control of Abbas and Fayyad, standing today at 68%
compared to 72% one year ago, 80% two years ago, and 87% four years ago (few
months before the last parliamentary elections).
f.. 60% say PA president Abbas loses his legitimacy when his term ends
next January if no new elections are organized and 30% say he does not.
Similarly, 59% say the Palestinian Legislative Council loses its legitimacy
next January when it too comes to the end of its term.
g.. While an overwhelming majority (72%) opposes the holding of separate
elections in the West Bank alone and a larger majority (79%) opposes holding
separate elections in the Gaza Strip alone, and while a majority of 58%
believes that the Fateh-Hamas dialogue in Cairo will fail, a majority of 54%
opposes the holding of election next January under the current status quo
(assuming one is possible) with the presence of two separate governments,
one in the West Bank and one in the Gaza Strip. 41% support such elections.
In the meanwhile, a majority of 60% opposes the postponement of elections
for a year or more and 36% support it.
h.. In addition to public confusion regarding elections, the public has no
confidence in the ability of elections to contribute to national
unification. 70% believe that both Fateh and Hamas, or one of them, will
reject the results of a fair and free elections if these results favored its
opponent. Only 22% say the two sides will accept those results. However, the
overwhelming majority of the respondents (83%) say they themselves would
accept the results of a fair and free election even if they favored those
whom they did not vote for.
i.. 53% say they are worried that they or a member of their family would
be hurt by other Palestinians, from Fateh or Hamas, and 46% say they are not
worried. Respondents in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank are equally
worried. Three months ago, respondents in the Gaza Strip were more worried
than respondents in the West Bank (65% to 50%) which means that the level of
worry has dropped considerably in the Gaza Strip and increased slightly in
the West Bank.
j.. 49% agree and 45% disagree that the platform of a National Unity
Government should accept all agreements signed between the PLO and Israel.
These results are almost identical to those obtained three months ago.
k.. About one third believes that unity between the West Bank and the Gaza
Strip will not be resumed and two entities will be established while 12% say
unity will resume soon and a majority of 53% says unity will resume but only
after a long time.
l.. In the aftermath of Fateh's Sixth Congress, 39% say Fateh will become
stronger and more unified in the future and 22% say it will become weaker
and more fragmented and 34% say it will remain unchanged. 40% say the newly
elected Fateh leadership will be more able than the previous leadership in
achieving reconciliation with Hamas and 22% say it will be less able to do
so. Similarly, 43% say the new leadership will be more able than the
pervious one to fight corruption within Fateh while 21% thinks the opposite.
But only 27% say the new leadership will be more able to work toward ending
occupation and 28% say it will be less able than the pervious leadership.
m.. 9% of the public say they have been victims of attacks or robbery by
other Palestinians during the past year. Among those, 40% say they have
submitted a complaint to the police and security services and 58% say they
have not. 41% of those who did not submit a complaint say the reason they
did not submit one is that they do not trust the police while 43% say the
police can not do any thing to help them and 11% say they did not want to
make the issue public. 26% of those who did submit a complaint say they were
satisfied with the police work in the investigation to uncover the
circumstances of the crime while 73% say they were not satisfied. The
percentage of those who submitted complaints is higher in the West Bank
(52%) than in the Gaza Strip (25%). Among those who did not submit a
complaint to the police, 57% in the Gaza Strip and 22% in the West Bank say
the reason for this is the lack of trust in the police. The levels of
satisfaction with the performance of the police among those who submitted a
complaint stands at 21% in the Gaza Strip and 28% in the West Bank.

This poll was conducted with the support of Konrad Adenauer Stiftung -
Ramallah.

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