Call for papers vol 9, no. 1, 2018 is open until 30 March 2018

PALESTINIAN PUBLIC’S WILLINGNESS TO COMPROMISE: TORN BETWEEN HOPE AND VIOLENCE

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since 1993, regularly conducted polls and surveys. Some of these studies are producing
data that are important for the understanding of the readiness of Palestinians for peace,
but the polls have not generally explored the Palestinians’ perceptions, over time, of the
main conflict issues.
On one occasion, in September 1996, the PSR measured Palestinians’ views about the
continued peace process and their future expectations. 69.8 percent of those surveyed
supported continued future negotiations with Israel, 50.9 percent expected a Palestinian
state as an outcome of these negotiations and 53.0 percent were optimistic about the future.6
This positive result was returned during a period when Israeli soldiers and Palestinian
security forces came into combat for several days as a result of reaction to the opening
of the Hasmonean tunnel in Jerusalem.7 On another occasion, in 2003, when the so-called
Geneva Accords8 were publicly discussed in both Israel and the Palestinian self-rule areas
in the West Bank and Gaza, the PSR asked Palestinians about their positions on the major
issues of the Accords proposals. Support for the Accords was generally low and, as the PSR
report made clear, was subordinate to the establishment of a Palestinian state: ‘After
reaching a peace agreement and the establishment of a Palestinian state, 77% of the Palestinians
would support reconciliation between the two peoples, the Israelis and the Palestinians.’9 This indicates hardening of Palestinians’ positions since the 1996 study.
The Jerusalem Media and Communication Center (JMCC) is another organization that
has regularly surveyed Palestinian views on important conflict and other political issues.
One such poll, in June 2004, revealed that Palestinians considered the al-Aqsa intifada as a
struggle to ‘liberate all the Palestinian land’ (45.5 percent) or to end the occupation on the
basis of UN resolution 242 and establish a Palestinian state. Furthermore, Palestinians
were asked to choose, among several alternatives, their preferred solution to the ‘Arab-
Israeli conflict’. The two-state solution received the highest approval (44.5 percent), while
the bi-national state in all of historical Palestine received the support of 26.5 percent. One
Palestinian state in all of Palestine received 11.1 percent support, while the Islamic state
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6 PSR Opinion Poll Report No 24, September 1996, www.pcpsr.org.
7 The opening of the Hasmonean Tunnel was seen by the PA as a threat to Islamic places and as yet another
attempt by Israel to Judaize Jerusalem. Initially, rumours also suggested, incorrectly, that the tunnel was
situated under the al-Haram al-Sharif area, where the al-Aqsa mosque is situated. This created a Palestinian
public outburst, and friction between Israeli and Palestinian security forces followed.
8 The Geneva Accords were the outcome of meetings between Palestinians (closely linked to the PA) and Israeli
opposition politicians and intellectuals who came to a joint agreement concerning the key issues of the
conflicts, after several meetings in secret Track II seminars in 2003.
9 PSR Opinion Poll Report No 10, 4-9 December 2003, page 4, www.pcpsr.org.



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Security Dialogues by Toni Mileski is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at sd.fzf.ukim.edu.mk.

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