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Plurality of Palestinians blame PA, Abbas for stalled reconciliation efforts

March 21, 2018 at 10:41 am

Palestinian protesters carry posters depicting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on 14 April 2017 [Ashraf Amra/Apaimages]

An overwhelming plurality of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip believe the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Mahmoud Abbas are responsible for the poor performance of the national reconciliation government.

According to a new poll by the Palestinian Centre for Policy and Survey Research (PSR), conducted 14-17 March amongst 1,200 adults, 65 per cent of Palestinians are dissatisfied with the reconciliation government’s record, while only 26 per cent are satisfied (down from 38 per cent three months ago).

Just under two-thirds of Palestinians (64 per cent) are pessimistic about the success of reconciliation.

With respect to apportioning blame, a strong plurality – 45 per cent – of those polled believe that the PA, Abbas and Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah are responsible for the government’s “poor showing”. By contrast, only 15 per cent believe Hamas “is responsible for that poor showing”.

Read: Abbas does not want reconciliation with Hamas, claims senior Fatah official

Twenty-seven per cent do not know who is to blame – and 13 per cent think the government is doing a good job.

Meanwhile, those polled were also asked an open question about who they think is behind the recent explosion that targeted Hamdallah’s convoy in the Gaza Strip.

The largest percentage – 45 per cent – blame the Israeli occupation, 14 per cent believe it was Hamas, the same percentage as those who believe it was the PA itself, or one of its agencies. Three3 per cent believe “one of the extremist groups” was responsible.

Some 74 per cent believed the aim of the perpetrators was to thwart reconciliation efforts, while 17 per cent said the aim was to protest the Ramallah-based authorities’ policies towards the Gaza Strip.

Read: Who wants to kill Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah?