Palestinian hopes that U.S. President Barack Obama will bring an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory have significantly declined in recent months, a public opinion poll published Wednesday has found.

Only 9.9 percent of Palestinians now believe that Obama's policies will increase chances of achieving a "just peace," down from 23.7 percent in October last year and 35.4 percent in June.

The poll also found that over 78 percent of Palestinians interviewed believe the U.S.-Israel dispute over the issue of West Bank settlements is "not serious."

The U.S. has strongly criticized Israeli settlement policy, which it says has sabotaged efforts to revive stalled peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

While more than 32 percent of poll respondents now believe the peace process is dead - compared to 19 percent who believed so in February 2006 - almost 44 percent think peaceful negotiation is the best way to achieve Palestinian goals of ending the Israeli occupation and establishing a Palestinian state.

The number of those who saw armed struggle as the best way of ending Israel's occupation of the West Bank stood at close to 30 percent, while 22 percent preferred "peaceful popular resistance."

The poll, of a random sample of 1,198 Palestinian adults in the West Bank and Gaza Strip between April 10 to April 15, had a 3 percent margin of error.