Poll: Support for third intifada waning among Palestinians
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Poll: Support for third intifada waning among Palestinians

Survey shows 42% back armed uprising, down from over 60% in December; majority would support Abbas over Hamas candidate

Palestinian youths clash with Israeli security forces in Qabatiya, a town near Jenin in the northern West Bank, on February 4, 2016. (AFP/Jaafar Ashtiyeh)
Palestinian youths clash with Israeli security forces in Qabatiya, a town near Jenin in the northern West Bank, on February 4, 2016. (AFP/Jaafar Ashtiyeh)

A new poll of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip has found that less than half support a third intifada, or armed uprising, down from almost two-thirds who supported such a development last December.

According to the Awrad research institute, the survey of 1,200 Palestinians shows that just 42 percent are in favor of a new uprising. In the West Bank, 57% are opposed, and in Gaza, 48% are against it.

Moreover, half believe that an uprising would impede Palestinian statehood (50% overall: 51% in the West Bank, and 49% in the Gaza Strip), and a majority (64%) believe the situation overall is “headed in the wrong direction” (79% in Gaza, 55% in the West Bank).

By contrast, a Palestinian poll released in mid-December showed that two-thirds of Palestinians supported the wave of stabbings against Israelis, with the same percentage backing a larger armed uprising.

Some 30 people have been killed in a wave of near-daily stabbing, shooting, and car-ramming attacks by Palestinians since October. More than 160 Palestinians have also been killed, most of them in the act of attacking Israelis and others in clashes and demonstrations.

The poll respondents also overwhelmingly opposed the dissolution of the Palestinian Authority and the return of control over the West Bank to Israel (78%).

A majority were in favor of immediate Palestinian elections (79%), which have not been held for over 10 years. If PA President Mahmoud Abbas was pitted against Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, the former would win with some 36% of the vote, while Haniyeh would snag 22%. However, if jailed Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti were to run in lieu of Abbas, he would garner some 52% of the vote, while Haniyeh would get 18%, the poll indicated.

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