Tags: ML | Palestinians | Abbas

Poll: Fewer Palestinians, but Still Majority, Back Stabbings

Monday, 21 March 2016 01:26 PM

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — A majority of Palestinians still back near-daily stabbing attacks on Israelis, but that support dropped by nine points to 58 percent over the past three months, according to a poll Monday.

Pollster Khalil Shikaki said the drop appears to be due to a growing perception that such attacks have not advanced Palestinian interests.

"They are widely viewed as ineffective," Shikaki told a news conference.

Since mid-September, Palestinians have killed 28 Israelis and two Americans in stabbings, shootings and attacks using cars. At least 185 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli troops and civilians over the same period. Israel says most were assailants, but has been criticized for what Israeli and Palestinian rights groups say has at times been excessive use of force.

Shikaki's Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey publishes polls on a wide range of subjects every three months, based on 1,270 respondents in the West Bank and Gaza. It has an error margin of three percentage points.

Palestinian hopes for establishing a state through negotiations with Israel have dimmed after two decades of failed talks. No meaningful talks have taken place since hard-liner Benjamin Netanyahu became Israel's prime minister in 2009. Netanyahu has blamed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for the impasse and said he is willing to negotiate, but has also rejected internationally backed ground rules for an Israel-Palestine partition of the Holy Land.

In Monday's poll, two-thirds of Palestinians said that if current tensions escalate into an armed uprising, it would serve Palestinian interests better than negotiations.

The lack of progress toward independence and a long-running rivalry with the Islamic militant group Hamas have hurt Abbas' standing. Hamas seized Gaza from Abbas in 2007.

After 11 years as president, two-thirds of Palestinians want Abbas to resign, according to the latest poll, which confirmed findings three and six months ago.

Abbas, who turns 81 this week, would lose to a Hamas candidate by 11 points if presidential elections were held now. Jailed uprising leader Marwan Barghouti, a popular figure in Abbas' Fatah movement, would defeat a Hamas challenger by 18 points, according to the poll.

Hamas and Fatah would likely score a tie in parliamentary elections.

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A majority of Palestinians still back near-daily stabbing attacks on Israelis, but that support dropped by nine points to 58 percent over the past three months, according to a poll Monday.Pollster Khalil Shikaki said the drop appears to be due to a growing perception that...
ML,Palestinians,Abbas
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2016-26-21
Monday, 21 March 2016 01:26 PM
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