A new poll of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip has found that a clear majority continues to demand the resignation of President Mahmoud Abbas, and "stands decisively against Abbas' domestic policies", according to the Palestinian Centre for Policy and Survey Research (PSR).
The PSR poll, conducted between 25 June and 1 July, found that "an overwhelming majority demands the immediate halt to all measures taken by Abbas against the Gaza Strip and opposes the crackdown on demonstrations demanding an ending to these measures."
Specifically, when asked if they support "the continued existence of armed factional battalions in the Gaza Strip alongside the official PA security sector forces", 65 per cent of Palestinians said "they prefer to keep the armed battalions in place", with 26 per cent expressing opposition.
Some 79 per cent of those polled, meanwhile, demanded "that the PA immediately lift all the measures taken against the Gaza Strip, such as public sector's salary deductions and the reduction in access to electricity", with just 17 per cent saying such measures should be removed "only after Hamas fully hands over control over the Strip to the reconciliation government".
As for Abbas himself, 61 per cent of the public want him to resign while 33 per cent want him to remain in office. With respect to the succession, 60 per cent said that "in the case of Abbas' absence, the Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Aziz Duwaik from Hamas, must become president for two months in implementation of the Basic Law". Some 29 per cent opposed this.
If Abbas does not nominate himself in a new election, 30 per cent would "prefer to see Marwan Barghouti replacing him", while 23 per cent prefer Ismail Haniyeh. Mohammad Dahlan is preferred by six per cent (one per cent in the West Bank and 14 per cent in the Gaza Strip).