Jerusalem Media & Communication Center, â€œestablished in 1988 by a group of Palestinian journalists and researchers to provide information on events in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip,â€ recently published its Public Opinion Poll 47, for the month of December. 1200 adults throughout Judea, Samaria and Gaza were interviewed by JMCC pollsters in early December. Questions asked ranged from attitudes towards PLO leaders and factions to level of support for suicide bombings of Israelis.
Select results are excerpted below (from the JMCC website):
â€œA great majority of Palestinians, 80.7 percent, steadily remained all through the past year supportive of continuing the Intifada, with 46 percent saying its goal is to end the Israeli military occupation and establish an independent Palestinian state based on UN Security Council resolution 242.... Another 47 percent believe the end result of the Intifada is to liberate all of historic Palestine compared with 43 percent in last September and only 39.6 percent in December 2001. Only 16.6 percent steadily remained all through the past year strongly or somewhat oppose the continuation of the Intifada.
â€œA majority of those interviewed 58.8 said that the Intifada should continue in its current form.... A significant majority, 69.3 percent, believes that Palestinian military operations against Israeli targets are a suitable response during the current political situation.... Of those interviewed, 24 percent opposed military operations and consider them harmful to Palestinian national interests....
â€œYet, as in previous surveys this year, 44.7 percent do not see a difference between Palestinian military operations conducted inside Israel or in the occupied territories.... As for suicide bombing operations against Israeli civilians, there is a slight trend of decreased support for them, since 62.7 percent of those interviewed supported them, dropping from 64.3 percent last September, 68.1 last June, 72 percent last March and 74 percent in December 2001. Of those surveyed, 29.8 percent opposed suicide bombings compared with 26 percent in December 2001....
â€œA great majority of Palestinians, 74.5 percent, do not see a difference between Israeli prime ministerial candidates Ariel Sharon (Likud Party) and Amiram Mitsna (Labor Party) when it comes to opportunities to achieve peace with the Palestinian side.... 16.6 percent said Mitsna should be elected for the sake and interest of peace....
â€œWhen asked what is the favored solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, 46.5 percent said a two-state solution compared with 48.8 percent in December 2001, 26.2 percent said a bi-national state in historic Palestine compared with 27.6 percent in December 2001, and 11.2 percent said one Palestinian state with one nationality compared with 14.4 percent in December 2001. In March 2002, 41.6 percent preferred a two-state solution, 31.6 percent said a bi-national state.
â€œAn overwhelming majority of Palestinians, 82.7 percent, said they think there is corruption in the Palestinian Authority (PA) while only 7.8 percent said there is not. Last September 60.6 percent said there is corruption while 28.6 said there is not. When asked to what extent is the Palestinian Authority corrupt, 58.3 percent said to a high degree, 30.7 percent said to a medium degree and 9.8 percent said to a low degree. Only 1.2 percent said they didnâ€™t know....
â€œDespite Palestinian strong views on the Palestinian Authority, a majority of Palestinians, 56.3 percent expect Palestinian President Yasser Arafat to be re-elected if free, democratic elections were held....
Yasser Arafat and his mainstream Fateh faction are still the most popular amongst the Palestinian public with a slight drop in popularity. A slight drop to 25.5 percent of Palestinians who said Arafat is the most trusted Palestinian figure compared with 27.6 percent last September and 24.5 percent in December 2001.
â€œThe second in line of trust is Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, founder and spiritual leader of Hamas, who was chosen by 11.5 percent of those interviewed as opposed to 8.8 percent last June, and 12.8 percent in December 2001.
â€œThe third in line of trust is Marwan Barghouthi, Fateh leader detained in Israeli jails, who was chosen by 5.2 percent rising from 3.3 percent last September and who was not significantly named by those surveyed in December 2001.
â€œThere are 30 percent of Palestinians who do not trust any Palestinian figure compared with 26.7 percent last September and 33.1 percent in December 2001.
â€œAs for Palestinian factions, Fateh maintained the most trusted faction sliding to 28.1 percent from 32.9 percent last September and 26.1 percent in December 2001.
â€œThe Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, was chosen by 20.1 percent compared with 20.9 percent last September and 21.3 percent in December 2001.
â€œThere are 31.4 percent of Palestinians who do not trust any faction compared with 25.8 percent last September and 30.4 percent in December 2001.â€