Poll: Majority of Palestinians oppose third intifada

(JTA) – The majority of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza oppose a third intifada, according to a new poll, reversing the popular sentiment from three months ago.

The poll of 1,200 Palestinians conducted by the West Bank-based Arab World for Research and Development firm in late January was released on Sunday.

Regarding a third intifada, 53.7 per cent overall said they would oppose an uprising, while 42 per cent would support one. Backing was higher among Gaza Palestinians, at 47.3 per cent, than those living in the West Bank, at 38.8 per cent.

An October poll by Arab World for Research and Development, of Ramallah, had found the majority of Palestinians supporting such an uprising.

The new poll also found that 78.6 per cent of Palestinians oppose the idea of dismantling the Palestinian Authority, and that if an election were held now, its president, Mahmoud Abbas, would defeat Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh.

Respondents were almost evenly divided between optimism and pessimism on the future: the optimistic were at 49.5 per cent, the pessimistic at 48.7 per cent.

Asked how the current wave of violence has affected them and their family, 35.8 per cent of Palestinians reported a loss of income, 20.5 per cent said it has created obstacles to their travel and movement, and 18.3 per cent said it has led to the loss of a job. Among West Bank Palestinians, only 11.7 per cent reported that the violence has had “no impact” on them or their family.

The poll summary did not report its margin of error.

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