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lenger Ariel Sharon for the Prime Ministership. Palestinian President Arafat was preoccupied
with public pressure and the Oslo opponents in the midst of the al-Aqsa intifada. US
President Clinton had almost no political mandate remaining, with his tenure in the White
House drawing to a close. In conclusion, a political agreement was feasible, but the political
realities in Israeli and Palestinian societies clearly had a negative impact on the decision
makers’ willingness to compromise. They preferred to maintain uncompromising positions
on the outstanding issues due to fears of a lack of political backing (in the governments,
parliaments, and on the streets) in their home arenas.
The surveys of 1997, 2001, 2006, and 2009
The survey data derives from a joint research project between Birzeit University and the
Department of Peace and Development Research/School of Global Studies that was initiated
in 1996. Four surveys were conducted: November 1997, July 2001, April/May 2006,
and the most recent in September 2009. A random sample14 of 1308 Palestinians was selected
for the 1997 survey, 1492 for the 2001 survey, 1500 for the 2006 survey, and 1504
for the 2009 survey. The surveys contained approximately 150 to 200 questions. The target
population is all individuals who are 18 years old or above and are residents of the West
Bank and the Gaza Strip, or of the city of Jerusalem (under Israeli control). The samples
were made with the help of the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS). Although
between the four surveys some questions were changed, removed, or added, several key
aspects under study have been measured on all four occasions.
Positions on solutions to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Overall conflict

We asked the subjects: ‘What is according to you the preferred final solution to the
Palestinian-Israeli conflict?’ As shown in Table 1 below, the most frequent answer was ‘Islamic
state in the whole of Palestine’. In 1997 it was the most frequent answer, with 34.9
percent support. This percentage increased to 43.6 in 2001, to 52.4 percent in 2006, and
slightly decreased to 35.9 in 2009. The compromise, two-state, solution has therefore significantly
lost support over the study period.
14 A three-stage organized clustered stratified random sampling design was used to select the 2006 and 2009
samples. In the first stage, a random stratified sample was selected (125 numeration areas). In the second
stage, an organized random sample of 12 households was selected from the sample selected in the first
stage. In the third stage, one person was selected from each household. The population was divided into
the following stratifications: 1) Governorates, and 2) Type of Locality (Urban, Rural, Camps).

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