Most Palestinians Support Knife Attack

Photo by Michael Wolfowicz/TPS on October 25, 2015
Knife used in stabbing attack against Israeli in Metzad on Monday, October 25.

Most Palestinians Support Knife Attacks, Says Palestinian Poll

Written by Alexander J. Apfel/TPS on December 24, 2015

An opinion poll conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PCPSR) last week has revealed that 67% of Palestinians support the stabbing attacks which have been taking place in Israel on a near daily basis during recent months.

Despite prevailing support, mass participation has been noticeably absent, which has caused commentators to refrain from describing the violence as an armed uprising. While the research suggests various reasons for this, in response to what the report describes as an “open-ended question” regarding the reasons behind the lack of popular participation, 43% of those questioned said that it may be because of “fear of the PA or the occupation.”

PR and Administrative Officer Hamada Jaber of the PCPSR told Tazpit Press Service (TPS) that while this reason was cited by the largest number of respondents among all the possible reasons suggested, it was not clear whether this was a reference to Israel’s policy of demolishing the homes of terrorists.

“We do not know if fear of occupation means house demolition. This was an open-ended question and people simply mentioned ‘fear of occupation.’ To take that any further would amount to speculation,” Jaber told TPS.

He drew attention, however, to data in the same poll which stated that the percentage of those who were deterred by fear of home demolition amounted to 79%.

This data, combined with the response citing “fear of the occupation,” potentially undermines the conclusions drawn by Professor Esteban F. Klor of the Department of Economics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem who conducted research and wrote a paper on the policy of home demolitions. According to Klor, the policy has only had a limited impact: “If you ask me if this is effective and is going to solve the problem, then I would say no,” he told TPS in an earlier interview.

An overwhelming majority, both in Gaza and in Judea and Samaria, also indicated their belief that Palestinian national interests would be served more effectively were an armed intifada to develop from the current wave of violence than they would through diplomacy and negotiations.

According to the report, Mahmoud Abbas and the notion of a two-state solution has fallen out of sync with the will of the Palestinian people as they have gradually moved towards a hardline approach advocated by Hamas.

“A growing majority supports a return to an armed intifada and a growing majority continues to reject the two-state solution,” the report reads.

“If presidential elections were held today and only Ismail Haniyeh and Mahmoud Abbas were to be nominated…Haniyeh would win in the West Bank with 53% against Abbas’s 37%.”

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