Poll: 50% of Palestinians Consider Peace Talks With Israel a Mistake

Two out of three Palestinians believe U.S.-brokered negotiations will fail to result in an agreement.

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Haaretz
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Haaretz

Roughly half of Palestinians living in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip believe the Palestinian Authority erred in resuming peace negotiations with Israel, a public opinion poll revealed.

According to the poll, which was conducted by the East Jerusalem-based Jerusalem Media and Communication Center this month and published on Wednesday, 50.5 percent of respondents think the PA should not have agreed to the renewal of talks. Only 33.8 percent considered the decision to be a good one.

Furthermore, 68.7 percent of respondents anticipate the negotiations will fail to result in an agreement with Israel.

The results, however, showed Palestinians are split over the best way of accomplishing their national goals. Almost one third (32.3 percent) said they support peaceful negotiations, 29.3 percent back armed resistance, and 27.1 percent consider non-violent resistance the most useful approach.

The poll further indicated that Palestinians don't put much faith in their leaders. When asked to pick a leader they trust the most, a full 39.6 percent of respondents said they do not trust any of the personalities given as options. Abbas trailed at a wide margin with 20.6 percent, Hamas' Ismail Haniyeh got 11.8, and Marwan Barghouti only 5.9 percent.

'Israel destroying peace process'

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat on Wednesday accused Israel of destroying the peace process by continuing construction in the settlements, planning settlement expansion (including in East Jerusalem), attempting to divide the Al-Aqsa Mosque, making more arrests and damaging Palestinian property.

He reiterated that this behavior had led him to conclude that there was no room for progress, and that he and his partner, Mohammad Shtayyeh, had submitted their resignations. I hope my resignation will be accepted and that somebody else will be appointed to represent the Palestinian people, someone with abundant ability who can sit at the negotiating table. But what is important is not who sits there, but rather the decisions that are made there. Right now it does not seem as though Netanyahu is interested in moving forward with the peace process.

Palestinian protesters hold placards showing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry during a demonstration against renewed peace talks with Israel, October 2013.

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