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Poll: Palestinians back negotiations with Israel

Aug. 30, 2010 10:15 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 1, 2010 9:04 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Two-thirds of Palestinians are in favor of either direct or indirect negotiations with Israel, the results of a new poll released Monday finds.

The Palestinian Center for Public Opinion surveyed over 1,000 Palestinians from the West Bank, occupied East Jerusalem and Gaza earlier this month, ahead of the resumption of direct talks in Washington on 2 September.

Around one-third (31.7 percent) of Palestinians were in favor of resuming direct negotiations, while 31.1 percent favored continuing indirect talks.

Center director Nabil Kukali said the result indicated “that the Palestinian people chose the strategy of peace.”

Palestinians expressed pessimism about US involvement, however. A clear majority (79.4 percent) believe the visit of the US envoy George Mitchell will not lead to any progress in the peace process, while two-thirds do not think US President Barack Obama was capable of establishing a Palestinian state.

More than half of the respondents supported a two-state solution, while 26.7 percent were in favor of a one bi-national state. A minority of 4.9 percent said there is no solution to the conflict.

Asked about internal Palestinian politics, almost half the respondents said they believed a government with a majority of independents would best serve the interests of Palestinian people. One-third would prefer a Fatah majority, while 14 percent said a Hamas majority would be in Palestine’s best interests.

More than half (54.4 percent) of Palestinians thought the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority governed better than the Hamas-led Gaza government, while 17 percent preferred Hamas. Both had performed equally according to 22.7 percent of respondents.

Family and money dominated, with 43.5 percent citing the economy as their primary concern. For 30 percent of Palestinians, the future was their main concern.

Almost 70 percent said they were worried about the subsistence of their family.
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