What do the Palestinians want? It's best to ask them. The main article in today's (Wed) "Al Quds" (a Palestinian newspaper printed in Jerusalem; the most widely read in the territories) is about a survey of the residents of the territories, which brings forth the following interesting data:
1. Decline in support of political movements
Who do you think is the representative of the Palestinians? Fatah 47% (stronger in the WB), the Palestinian Authority 33%, Hamas 20%
To which movement do you belong? Fatah 24%, Hamas 14%, Other 7%, None 55% (the trend is a bit stringer in the WB)
Should Abbas stay in office? Half-half (no actual numbers were reported)
Whom do you trust? 23% Abbas, 18% Haniya, 59% none of the two
This is the continuation of the trend of weakening of the political movements and frustration with politics.
2. Feelings of insecurity, depression, anxiety
Don't feel secure about themselves, their families and property 76%
How do you feel? 89% depressed because of the current situation. 90% feel anxiety
The main reason for anxiety: Lack of security 34%, Occupation 27%, Internecine struggle 18%, Economic distress 14%
3. Clear majority wants peace
59% Support the Egyptian initiative
67%: The rockets must stop
33% Supports the rockets
65% support signing peace agreement with Israel (in the WB 62%, in Gaza 70%)
59% think that Hamas should change its stance refusing to recognize Israel (66% in Gaza, 55% in the WB)
How to stop the conflict with Israel? 42% Peace negotiations, 25% armed struggle, 10% popular struggle [I guess this refers to civil rights struggle – Sky] 23% all of the above
This data weakens the claim that the war will never be forgiven, as I wondered in the past (a link to another post.) It doesn't mean that the war did not strengthen the extremists, or the lack of trust, since they were not asked whether the war strengthened/weakened their desire for peace, or the chances to achieve peace. However, it does weaken the claim that the Palestinians want to destroy the State of Israel.
4.The war's goal was to bring the Palestinians to their knees
What was the goal of the war?
60% To humiliate/subdue the Palestinians
33% To weaken Hamas
What is the priority for the Palestinians right now? 77% Unity
The data also points that 53% (67% in Gaza) are poor, 25% very poor. Full unemployment 24% (in Gaza 36%), part-time employment 14%
1030 participated in the survey, 3.4% margin of error. The survey took place between 18 and 22 of January 2009 and administered by Near East Consulting.