02/05/2009, 00.00
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Palestinians in favour of truce and negotiations with Israel

Survey shows that most people believe no one won in the recent Israel-Hamas war. A majority also believes that Hamas is taking the country in the “wrong direction.” Still, 43.5 per cent believes that the Islamist movement has come out stronger from the conflict.

Jerusalem (AsiaNews) – The overwhelming majority of Palestinians, 88.2 per cent, is in favour of a truce with Israel; 73.6 per cent is in favour of peace negotiations with the Jewish State; yet 39.3 per cent supports continued rocket firing at Israeli cities. Only 33.3 per cent believes that by the time their children are grown up there will be peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

These are the most significant results from a survey sent to AsiaNews that was carried out on 25 January and released yesterday by the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion (PCPO), an independent public opinion research firm that surveys Palestinian public opinion since 1994, and is run by Nabil Kukali, a Christian, who also teaches at Hebron University, in West Bank.

Most respondents laid the blame for the recent war in Gaza on Israel (54.4 per cent); only 14.5 per cent blamed Hamas. Another 13 per cent says the United States was responsible; 7.6 per cent said Fatah was; and 4.8 per pointed the finger at Iran.

For 54.1 per cent no one won the war; 34.1 per cent said Hamas did; 10.5 said Israel did; and 1.3 per cent believes Fatah won.

For 34.5 per cent Hamas' power has increased a lot or somewhat as a result of the conflict against 26.8 per cent who believes it has decreased. Another 29.7 per cent thinks that it has remained changed.

More than half, 51.3 per cent, of those surveyed believes that the Islamists are taking the country in “the wrong direction.”  Fatah too comes in for criticism but not by as much; 46 per cent thinks it is taking the country in the wrong direction.

Never the less, Fatah attracts the support of 40.6 per cent of Palestinians compared to 31.3 per cent for Hamas. Another 2.7 per cent goes to Islamic Jihad and 5.4 per cent to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

For most Palestinians the future bodes ill with 61.2 per cent who think things will be bad. Likewise a majority of respondents is quite pessimistic about the economic situation in the territories.  

As for their personal situation, 81.4 per cent say they are “worried” or “very worried” about it; especially in relation to security (40.5 per cent), work (28.6 per cent), the future (19.4 per cent), and health (11.5 per cent).

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