PA public opinion poll: PA is deteriorating, Hamas is overcoming Fatah, people don’t want two state solution or peace with Israel

September 23, 2021 by Baruch Yedid - TPS
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A public opinion poll taken of local residents of the Palestinian Authority revealed that the P.A. and its Fatah leadership are in serious trouble. They are unpopular, Hamas is rising in popularity and the people want Abu Mazen to go.

Gazan people demonstrating in Gaza City, holding Palestinian flags, ahead of the announcement by US President Donald Trump about his Middle East peace plan. Gaza, Jan 28, 2020

A Fatah source commented on the poll, “It is clear that Fatah finds itself defending itself against Hamas under the failed leadership of Abu Mazen, but it is even clearer that the declared Israeli policy does not reconcile with the reality on the ground. Only elections can decide between Fatah and Hamas, but both in Israel and in the Palestinian Authority know the truth: Hamas has a lot of power and it is expected to win a great victory in any upcoming election campaign.”

But Hamas is baulking

at holding new elections in Gaza, which it controls.

The survey was conducted between September 15-18, among 1270 respondents, on a number of topics on the agenda and after a series of events that agitated the Palestinian street, including Operation The Guardian of the Walls, the death during interrogation by PA security of political activist Nazar Banat, the escape of prisoners from Gilboa Prison and more.

Here are the key findings of the poll:

78% of respondents called on Abu Mazen to step down, compared to only 19% who call on him to stay. This is a 10% increase among the public who believe that Abu Mazen should go, compared to a previous poll several months ago. Hamas defeats Fatah, and Marwan Barghouti is the leading candidate to succeed Abu Mazen.

59% state that the Palestinian Authority has become a burden to the Palestinians.

The survey also reveals that the status of the PA continues to deteriorate.

63% of those polled support protests, which have stirred up the Palestinian street.

74% believe that the Palestinian Authority has violated human rights within the areas under its control.

Hamas, on the other hand, is perceived as having succeeded in defending Jerusalem. Referring to Operation Guardian of the Walls, 71% of respondents believe that Hamas defeated Israel in the last round of violence and 63% believe that the extremist organization achieved its goals after launching rockets on Jerusalem, thereby protecting al-Aqsa and the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.

The poll also raises the issue of the balance of political power within the Palestinian Authority: 73% of respondents said that they demand new elections for the Palestinian leadership.

If elections were to be held, Hamas leader Ismail Haniya would defeat Abu Mazen. He received 56% support for the leadership from the respondents, compared to only 34% support for Abu Mazen.

Within the PA territories, there is a 52% majority that supports the Hamas leader, compared to only 33% who support Abu Mazen.

When asked about the best candidate to replace Abu Mazen, 33% voted for Barghouti, 22% for Haniya, only six percent voted for Dahlan and Yahya Sanwar, the Hamas leader in Gaza.

Only 3% voted for Khaled Mashaal, one of the leaders of Hamas, and only two percent believe that Salam Fayyad, a former Palestinian prime minister, is the right candidate to replace Abu Mazen.

However, in head-to-head competition, the terrorist imprisoned in Israel Marwan Barghouti defeats Ismail Haniya with 55% support, compared to only 39% support for the Hamas leader.

Hamas enjoys 37% support compared to Fatah, which is satisfied with 32%, while 18% of respondents did not express support for any of the organizations.
83% of respondents believe that the Palestinian Authority is corrupt, while 61% believe that Hamas is corrupt.

59% stated that the Palestinian Authority has become a burden on the Palestinian people compared to 34% who still consider it a national achievement.

A Palestinian source says in this regard, “The survey does reflect the situation regarding Abu Mazen’s status, but the survey does not address the succession struggles. Under the leadership of the PA, a completely different governmental mechanism must be established and a new system formulated that will enable the continued existence of the Palestinian Authority. In the meantime, Hamas is an existential challenge for the PA.”

The Poll also showed opposition to a two-state solution.

62% of respondents said they oppose a two-state solution compared to 36% who support it.

63% of the respondents believe that the solution is not possible due to the scope of the Israeli settlements and 73% believe that the chances of establishing an independent Palestinian state in the coming years are slim.

When asked about the best way out of the current situation, 28% of respondents said they were in favor of an agreement with Israel, while 39% said they were in favor of the armed struggle. 10% expressed support for the popular struggle while 18% supported the continuation of the existing situation.

When asked about the best way to end the “occupation,” 48% said that the armed struggle is the preferred way, while 28% said that negotiations are the best way to do so and 19% believe that the non-violent popular struggle is the preferred way.

Respondents also expressed their position regarding the lack of mobilization of the Palestinian street for the popular struggle waged by the various organizations against Israel: 44% said they had lost faith in factions and leadership, 39% said they feared participation in the protest and focused on day-to-day affairs and 16% said the street had lost the will to fight against Israel.

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