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Palestinian support for attacks drops, poll finds

April 17, 2011 4:58 P.M. (Updated: April 19, 2011 8:00 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (AFP) -- Overall Palestinian support for suicide bombings against Israeli civilians, the firing of rockets into Israel has dropped since 2009, with a majority opposed to both, a poll showed on Sunday.

The survey conducted by the Jerusalem Media and Communication Centre found that support for Palestinian "military operations of any kind' against Israel fell from 53.3 percent in January 2009 to 37.1 percent in April of this year.

Palestinians also showed less support for the firing of rockets from Gaza into Israel, with 25.4 percent saying they believed the rockets "are useful in achieving the national goals," down from 50.8 percent in January 2009.

In Gaza, respondents felt more strongly than their West Bank counterparts that the rocket fire was harmful, with 41.5 percent saying the rockets harmed "Palestinian goals" as compared to 36.8 percent in the West Bank.

Support for suicide bombing also fell, according to the survey, which polled Palestinians in both the West Bank and Gaza.

The poll found support for attacks on Israeli civilians had fallen to 37.3 percent from 55.4 percent in January 2009, although there was a clear divide between residents of the West Bank and Gaza on the issue.

In Gaza, 57.3 percent of those surveyed expressed some level of support for suicide bombings targeting Israeli civilians, while 42.6 percent said they were strongly or somewhat opposed to such operations.

In the West Bank, 25.3 percent of respondents said they strongly or somewhat supported suicide attacks targeting Israeli civilians, while 65.7 percent expressed opposition to such attacks.

Residents in both places, however, were consistent in their support for a two-state solution over a bi-national or Islamic state, with 53.2 percent of all respondents saying it was their preferred outcome.

Only 22.1 percent expressed support for a bi-national state, and just 1.2 percent said they wanted to see an Islamic state.

The survey polled 1,198 people in the West Bank and Gaza and had a margin of error of three percent, the center said.
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