Poll: Two-thirds of Palestinians support stabbings, reject two-state solution


(JTA) — A growing majority of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza support an armed uprising against Israel, reject a two-state solution and want Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to resign.

According to a poll conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research and released Monday, two-thirds of Palestinians back violence against Israel, including the current trend of stabbings, and want Abbas out of office, a continuation of trends documented in the center’s September poll.

The in-person poll of 1,270 adults was conducted Dec. 10-12.

Palestinians aged 18 to 22, a demographic dubbed the “Oslo generation” because they were born after the 1993 Oslo Accords, are the most supportive of an armed intifada and stabbings and the least supportive of the two-state solution.

Despite widespread opposition to a two-state solution, 70 percent of the respondents also oppose a one-state solution in which Arabs and Jews enjoyed equal rights.

The survey also found that if presidential elections were held today, a Hamas candidate “would win a clear victory against Abbas,” the center reported, although in hypothetical parliamentary elections support for Abbas’ Fatah party was the same as for Hamas.

Regarding the two-state solution, two-thirds of respondents said Israel’s expansion of settlements has made a two-state solution no longer viable, while three-quarters see prospects for establishing a Palestinian state next to Israel in the next five years as slim or nonexistent.

The poll also found more confidence in violence than peaceful measures as a means to achieve Palestinian statehood: 66 percent believe an armed intifada would serve Palestinian national interests in ways that negotiations could not, while only 50 percent think wide-scale peaceful confrontations would be more effective than negotiations.

Large gaps were found between the Palestinians in Gaza and those in the West Bank concerning perception of the current violence in Israel and the West Bank. While 67 percent of Gazans said most of the Palestinians shot dead by Israelis in recent months had stabbed or were attempting to stab Israelis, only 40 percent of West Bank residents believe this is the case.

As to Israel’s intentions for the Temple Mount, which spurred the violence starting in October, large numbers of Palestinians were suspicious: 51 percent said they believe Israel intends to destroy the Al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome in the Rock and replace them with a Jewish temple. Only 11 percent believe that Israel is, as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has stated repeatedly, interested in maintaining the status quo there, whereby only Muslims are permitted to pray on the Temple Mount.

Researchers interviewed the respondents at 127 randomly selected locations. The survey’s margin of error is 3 percent.

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