Support for protests

Wednesday, October 16, 1996

An opinion poll conducted by the Palestinian Centre for Public Opinion in Bet Sahour near Bethlehem, which polled 500 Palestinians in the West Bank, found that 68.7% support the continuation of the protests that started on September 25 in response to Israeli anti-Oslo peace policies and inflexible stand on Jerusalem.

Fifty-four per cent said that they will abide by Arafat's decision if he calls for ending the protests, while 29.4% said that they would not, and 16.6% were undecided. As to ending the protests to give Palestinian-Israeli peace negotiations a chance, 61.4% approved while 25.9% rejected the idea, and 12.7% would not answer.

Eighteen per cent of those polled said the real reason behind the eruption of the current protest was Palestinians' frustration with the stagnant Israeli-Palestinian peace process; 60% said the protests erupted because of anger at the opening of the tunnel near Al-Aqsa in Jerusalem. Almost 91% said they do not believe Israeli PM Netanyahu to be a man of peace. Almost 53% approved resuming military attacks against Israel while 37.4% objected. Sixty-two per cent of those polled are against resuming talks with Israel if it does not change its position on the peace process.

Fifty-two per cent believe that Arafat's position was reinforced in the light of the recent events. As to the performance of Palestinian Security Forces during the events, 84.5% were satisfied while 7.6% described it as unsatisfactory. The poll was conducted on September 28-29.
[Reprinted from October 4 Palestine Report, published by the Jerusalem Media and Communications Centre, PO Box 25047, East Jerusalem 97300 via Israel, email JMCC@BARAKA.ORG, telephone 972-2-819 777, fax 972-2-829 534.]