Poll: Majority of Palestinians Believe UN Statehood Bid Will Succeed

Surveys released by Near East Consulting shows 90% of Palestinians believe Israel would exact harsher measures against them in the wake of upcoming independence proposal.

More than half of the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza believe that Palestinian Authority's bid to gain statehood at the United Nations will succeed, a poll said on Sunday, adding that a vast majority of Palestinian respondents believed Israel would response harshly if the proposal indeed passes.

The United States has reportedly been working to thwart what it considered to be a unilateral Palestinian bid for recognition in the Security Council later this week, with U.S. President Barack Obama saying that Washington object such a move "very strongly, precisely because we think it would be counterproductive."

Palestinians UN - AP - September 8, 2011
Palestinian activists holding banners in front of the UN headquarters in Ramallah, Thursday, Sept 8, 2011.AP

Moreover, diplomatic sources indicated on Saturday that the United States was hard at work trying to assemble enough Security Council members to vote against the Palestinian proposal or at least abstain it so as to prevent Washington from the need to wield its veto power on the issue.

Speaking on the subject in the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem earlier Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said "the Palestinians' wish to become a permanent UN member… is bound to fail because they have to go through the Security Council."

However, in a poll conducted by the independent Palestinian firm Near East Consulting and released by the official Palestinian news agency WAFA, found that 57% of Palestinian respondents believed the UN bid would succeed, with 43% believing it would fail.

The survey, which polled 865 Palestinians over the age of 18 in both the West Bank and Gaza, also showed that 84% supported the Palestinian proposal at the UN, with 67% believing that the Palestinian Authority was capable of running an independent Palestinian state.

In addition, the Near East Consulting survey indicated that 90% of those polled believed Israel will exact harsher measures on the Palestinians in response to the UN bid, with 87% believing that a statehood bid could garner a harsh American response.

Referring more to the possibility of the Palestinian bid having negative effects on the Palestinian cause, the poll indicated that 70% of respondents are concerned on the possible effect of the UN bid on the rights of Palestinian refugees, with another 53% saying they believed recognition of Palestinian statehood would have at least short-term negative effects.