Poll: 48% of Palestinians Want PA to Accept International Demands

Indonesia: World must convince Hamas to accept terms; Jakarta delays meeting with Hamas, Western representatives.

The Palestinians are split over whether their new government should accept the world's conditions for acceptance, including recognition of Israel, according to a poll released Monday.

Some 48 percent of respondents want the Hamas-Fatah coalition to meet the international demands - a step that would mean an end to a punishing year-long boycott of the Palestinian Authority, that has driven many Palestinians deeper into poverty.

An equal number don't want the government to change its platform in order to win acceptance, according to the survey by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research.

The current program calls for the establishment of a Palestinian state in the territories Israel captured in the 1967 Six-Day War, implying recognition of Israel. The platform does not renounce violence.

The poll was conducted last week among 1,270 Palestinian and has an error margin of 3 percentage points.

The coalition was formed earlier this month, following months of difficult negotiations.

Indonesia: World must convince Hamas to accept termsIndonesia urged the international community on Monday to recognize the Palestinian unity government and "convince" Hamas to accept the preconditions, in order to proceed with peace talks with Israel.

"The fact that Hamas won a democratic election which was held fairly and peacefully shows that no one can discount the existence of Hamas," Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda told a news conference.

"It is not enough to simply tie Hamas to the three conditions. We need to convince them," he said, referring to calls for Hamas to renounce violence, recognize the Israel and accept interim peace deals.

Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim country, is a strong supporter of the Palestinian struggle for nationhood and has no diplomatic ties with Israel.

Jakarta has invited Hamas and "individuals" from the European Union and the United States to talks in a bid to persuade it to moderate its position and help end a crippling economic blockade of the Palestinian government.

Wirajuda said the meeting, scheduled for late March, had been delayed to allow more representatives to attend.

"The meeting is intended to serve as a bridge between Hamas and the European Union and the United States so that there's a better understanding of Hamas in the West," Wirajuda said.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who visited the region on Sunday, embraced Abbas as a peace partner but said the "time is not ripe" to hold talks with Hamas leaders.

Related articles

  • UN's Ban: Quartet to invite Israel, PA, Arab states to next meeting
  • Saudi FM suggests Arab leader may consider changes to peace plan