Most Palestinians in West Bank Oppose Stabbing Attacks on Israelis, New Poll Shows

Palestinian polling center JMCC finds President Abbas losing support; 60 percent back a two-state solution, while more than half feel ISIS has hurt their cause.

A Palestinian demonstrator has a knife in his belt and rocks in his hand during clashes with troops
A Palestinian demonstrator has a knife in his belt and rocks in his hand during clashes with Israeli troops, near Ramallah, West Bank, Oct. 18, 2015. AP

A survey has found a sharp split between Gaza and the West Bank over the latest wave of violence with Israel, with 79 percent in Gaza backing the stabbing attacks on Israelis, compared to 54 percent of Palestinians in the West Bank who oppose them.

But the survey, conducted by the Palestinian research institute JMCC, Jeruslem Media and Communications center earlier this month, found further that 55.9 percent of Palestinian support the current intifada, and 41 percent were opposed. The data didn't get into what form of protest Palestinians preferred to the stabbings.

Of 1,200 Palestinians above 18 questioned in face-to-face interviews, 69 percent said they still supported a two state solution, with 24.8 percent calling for a single state, but with full equality. The average age of respondents was 38, and the poll had a margin of error of three percent.

Respondents showed a decline in support for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, with only 45.3 percent satisfied with his performance compared to 52.4 percent in August.

Confidence in Hamas sunk to 16.5 percent from 22 percent a year ago, the JMCC found. Confidence in Abbas's Fatah movement rose slightly from 34 percent to 35.5 percent..

The survey found 82.1 percent of Palestinians held a negative view of the Islamist organization and only 6.1 percent had a positive one. It showed that 52.1 percent thought ISIS actions hurt the Palestinian people while only 2.8 percent rhought it advanced their cause.

Additionally, 22.5 percent of Palestinians said they would prefer the European Union as a mediator in negotiations with Israel,  with 19.2 percent choosing Egypt and only 4.9 percent opting for the United States.

Asked about security cooperation with Israel, 48.2 percent backed ending it, with 43.4 percent favoring its continuation. The survey found further that 52.7 percent of Palestinians said they'd oppose ending security coordination if it would harm civilian issues such as the receipt of permits administered by Israel.