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Poll: Fatah would win national elections

May 29, 2012 9:13 P.M. (Updated: June 1, 2012 9:45 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Fatah would win an election if it were held today, according to the results of a poll by the Jerusalem Media and Communication Center released Tuesday.

Some 42 percent of Palestinians would vote for Fatah and 19.5 percent would elect Hamas, according to the poll which surveyed 1,188 people selected at random in the West Bank and Gaza.

In a run-off between jailed Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti and Hamas chief Khalid Mashaal, half the respondents would choose Barghouti and around 20 percent would vote for Mashaal.

Gaza-based Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh proved more popular than Mashaal, and 40 percent of respondents would select the premier over Hamas' chief-in-exile.

Almost 50 percent of Palestinians expect elections to be held this year, while 40.2 percent expect Hamas and Fatah to reconcile in 2012.

Over 80 percent of respondents think the PA is corrupt, and only half think the government is combating corruption, but 65 percent still support the government's continuation while around a quarter think it should be dissolved.

Over two-thirds of Palestinians think the PLO should continue to seek UN recognition of Palestine.

Palestinian first

JMCC asked respondents to define themselves, choosing one word from a list of nine. One-third defined themselves as Palestinians.

In the Fatah-run West Bank, only 10 percent defined themselves foremost as Fatah supporters, compared to 21.4 percent in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip.

Meanwhile, less than 1 percent of Gaza residents chose to identify themselves as Muslims, compared to 10.4 percent in the West Bank.

Among other findings were that 80 percent of Palestinians favor peaceful resistance to Israel, while over 50 percent favor armed struggle.

Around one-third of respondents think military operations against Israeli targets are appropriate under current political conditions, while almost two-thirds oppose them.

Around half the Palestinians polled favor resumption of peace talks if accompanied by a halt in settlement construction.

Around half the respondents prefer a two-state solution to a single bi-national state, while a quarter would prefer a one-state solution. Support for a one-state solution was higher in the West Bank than in Gaza.
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