Nov. 6, 2003
62 percent of Palestinians support suicide attacks â€“ poll
By KHALED ABU TOAMEH
A majority of Palestinians continues to support suicide attacks against Israeli civilians, according to a new public opinion poll published on Thursday by the Jerusalem Media and Communication Center (JMCC).
The poll found that 61.8 percent of Palestinians supported suicide attacks, while 34.9% are opposed to this form of terrorism.
Another 67.9% said they supported the resumption of "military operations" against Israel "as a suitable response within the current political conditions." Twenty-eight percent said they rejected such attacks and because they find them harmful to Palestinian national interests.
A majority of 42.3% said they supported the resumption of attacks inside Israel and the West Bank and Gaza Strip as opposed to 14.1% who said the attacks should be restricted only to the West Bank and Gaza Strip. More than 23.5% of those polled voiced opposition to the resumption of terrorist attacks on both sides of the Green Line.
The poll, which covered a random sample of 1198 people over the age of 18 â€“ 758 in the West Bank, and 440 in the Gaza Strip. It was conducted between October 18 and 21, with a 3% margin of error, and a confidence level of 95.
JMCC public opinion polls are supported by a fund from Fredrich Ebert Stiftung Foundation in Germany.
Of those surveyed, 58.9% are pessimistic about the future in general, while another 71.9% are not optimistic about the chances of reaching a peaceful settlement for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
In regard to the intifada, 76.8% supported its continuation, with only 21.7% saying that they want to see an end to the violence.
In response to a question about the end results of the of the intifada, 44.6% said the goal should be ending the occupation on the basis of UN Resolution 242 and establishing a Palestinian state. Another 43.0% said the intifada should end in the liberation of all of historic Palestine.
However, 45.7% said they supported the two-state formula as the best solution for the conflict as opposed to 25.3% who said that the best solution would be a bi-national state on all of historic Palestine.
The poll showed that Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat continues to enjoy Palestinian support, with 59.8% saying they would expect him to be re-elected if free and democratic elections were held today, as opposed to 30.8% that did not expect Arafat to win.
I think that this poll speaks clearly!
62% of Palestinians support homicide/suicide attacks that kill Jews and 28% reject the attacks not because they kill Jews but because they believe that they hurt Palestinian interests.
If the 28% of Palestinians could be convinced that such attacks donâ€™t hurt Palestinian interests then there would be 90% support for killing Jews indiscriminately.