Poll: Palestinians say enough talk, ready to fight

Monday, October 17, 2011 |  Ryan Jones

A Palestinian public opinion poll conducted over the weekend revealed that Israel's ostensible peace partners have had enough of talking, and may be gearing up for more violence.

The Center for Opinion Polls and Survey Studies at An-Najah National University in Nablus asked local Palestinians if they believe a lasting peace deal can be negotiated between their leaders and Israel. Nearly 73 percent answered 'No.'

But that didn't mean the Palestinians had given up hope on their nationalistic goals. Over 64 percent said negotiations are not the only way to achieve a Palestinian state, and 57 percent said they expect the eruption of a "third intifada" or terrorist uprising against Israel.

Though such an uprising will not have universal backing, at least not at first. Only 28 percent of respondents in the so-called "West Bank" said they will support a fresh intifada, while a 50 percent majority said the said in Gaza.

Meanwhile, a majority of all Palestinians said the Western-brokered peace process with Israel is no longer of interest to them, a fact bolstered by last month's unilateral attempt by Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to gain recognition of Palestinian independence at the UN.

Nearly 77 percent of Palestinians were pleased with Abbas' stunt, though most (67.1%) expect the Americans to use their Security Council veto to squash the motion.

Most Palestinians (69.6%) believe the reason America will veto their unilateral statehood bid is because Washington no longer cares about peace in the region. Nor are they too keen on the European Union, with 57.8 percent of respondents saying the Europeans are no more reliable at peace brokers than the US.

The results of the poll further demonstrate how the terms of the Palestinians previous agreements with Israel were never instilled in the general public. According to the so-called "Oslo Accords," the Palestinians were supposed to renounce all other means of acheiving a Palestinian state outside of direct bilateral negotiations.

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