Joint Truman-Palestinian Survey Shows: 84% Palestinians support Mercaz HaRav shooting
Palestinian of Hamas in a demonstration (photo by Wagdi Ashtiyeh, Flash 90)
A public opinion poll reveals that an overwhelming majority of Palestinians – 84 percent – support the shooting attack at the Marcaz HaRav yeshiva on March 6 that left eight Jewish boys dead.
The most recent Israeli and Palestinian public opinion poll conducted jointly by the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in Ramallah, describes Palestinians' 'staggering' support of violent acts against Israel. Support for the shooting attack was greater in the Gaza Strip – at 91 percent, compared to the West Bank at 79 percent.
A further 64 percent of Palestinians polled support launching rockets from the Gaza Strip into Israeli towns, such as Sderot and Ashkelon.
Despite the recent escalation in violence, there was no change in the Israeli stance toward Israeli military operations in the Gaza Strip from three months ago.
Both Israelis and Palestinians demonstrate increased fear of threat by the other. Among Israelis, 74 percent are worried that they or their family may be harmed by Arabs in their daily life, compared to 64 percent in December's poll. Among Palestinians, 63 percent fear that their security and safety is not assured, compared to 53 percent three months ago.
Thirteen percent of Israelis also fear that Hezbollah will react to the assassination of Imad Mughniyeh by resuming the bombing and shooting of IDF forces along the border. Twenty one percent fear it will retaliate by resuming the rocket launches on Israeli towns, and 42 percent believe out will carry out terrorist attacks against Jews and Israelis around the world.
The joint poll further examined Israeli and Palestinian attitudes toward the peace process. Fifty three percent of Israelis and 79 percent of Palestinians believe the meetings between Mahmoud Abbas and Ehud Olmert should cease. Sixty-six percent of Israelis and 68 percent of Palestinians believe that the chances for the establishment of a Palestinian state during the next five years are non-existent or weak.
The Palestinian sample consisted of 1270 adults interviewed face-to-face in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in 127 randomly selected locations between March 13 and 15, 2008. The margin of error is 3%. The Israeli sample includes 597 adults interviewed by phone in Hebrew, Arabic or Russian between March 12 and 17, 2008. The margin of error is 4%. The poll was planned and supervised by Dr. Yaacov Shamir, the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace and the Department of Communication and Journalism at the Hebrew University and Dr. Khalil Shikaki, director of the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR).
The joint survey was conducted with the support of the Ford Foundation Cairo office and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Ramallah.