A whopping 71% said they support the murder of two unarmed Jewish brothers in Huwara, outside Nablus, which claimed the lives of two unarmed Israeli brothers. They also supported similar attacks against Israelis which have taken the lives of small children in recent weeks.
“Palestinian public attitudes are becoming more militant: support for armed struggle rises, support for the two-state solution drops, … trust in the P.A. declines, demand for the resignation of President [Mahmoud] Abbas rises,” Khalil Shikaki, director of the Ramallah-based Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PCPSR), tweeted.
Boaz Ganor, executive director of the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT) told the news outlet JNS that “these poll results are to be expected they are the end goal of a long-term campaign by Hamas and other terror groups to inflame the Palestinians. It seems they have succeeded.”
According to the survey, which surveyed 1,200 Arab adults in 120 randomly selected locations in Judea, Samaria and Gaza between March 8 and 11, other factors contributing to the result of the poll include mass teacher strikes in schools run by the Palestinian Authority and the imposition of a P.A. tax on telecommunication, ostensibly to support eastern Jerusalem. The survey has a margin of error of +/-3%.
According to PCPSR, acceptance of terrorist attacks against Israelis is widespread throughout Judea, Samaria and Gaza.
Fifty-eight percent of the respondents support “a return to armed confrontations and intifada,” up three percentage points from three months earlier. The previous two intifadas saw thousands of Israelis murdered in suicide bombings at cafes, shopping centers and on public transportation. Israel responded by building a security fence to prevent terrorists entering Israel from Palestinian-controlled areas. Terrorist attacks dropped by 98% over five years.
Now, 61% said they expect a third intifada to erupt in the near future.
According to experts, this trend is expected to continue getting worse.
The poll also found that Palestinians are increasingly turning to new terrorist groups as legitimate challengers to the Palestinian Authority.
Sixty-eight percent of those surveyed support “forming armed groups such as the Lions’ Den, which do not take orders from the P.A. and are not part of the P.A. security services.” Furthermore, 83% oppose these groups surrendering their members or arms to the P.A., and “the vast majority (87%) says the PA does not have the right to arrest members of these armed groups in order to prevent them from carrying out attacks against Israel.”
According to the US State Department, the P.A. has broadly “lost control in Jenin and Nablus.” Both cities are strongholds of new terrorist groups such as the Lions’ Den and the Jenin Brigades.
According to PCPSR, increased support for terrorist groups is correlated with decreasing support for the Palestinian Authority. The vast majority of Palestinians view the P.A. as ineffective, totalitarian, weak and corrupt. “Public evaluation of internal conditions points to a greater deterioration in the standing of the P.A. and a significant loss of trust in it,” the center said in a press release.
Eight-one percent said that the P.A. government has failed at improving economic conditions for Arabs in Judea and Samaria. Furthermore, 54% feel that they cannot openly criticize the P.A. without fear of reprisal.
A majority of 63% view the Palestinian Authority as a burden, an increase of four points from three months ago. Lastly, 67% expect the major Arab countries such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt to abandon the P.A. if it begins to break down.
Abbas’s approval rating stands at 17%, with more than 77% of respondents dissatisfied with his leadership. Moreover, 76% of Arabs in Judea and Samaria, and 78% of those in the Gaza Strip, want him to resign from his post.
If an election were held today between Abbas and Hamas political chief Ismail Haniyeh, Haniyeh would win by a 16-point margin, according to the poll.
–JNS wire service