Palestinians protest against settlements in the Jordan Valley, Nov. 24, 2020. (Flash90/Nasser Ishtayeh) (Flash90/Nasser Ishtayeh)
Palestinian protest

Public opinion poll shows 59% of Palestinians oppose relations with Israel, 55% oppose security coordination, and 52% oppose peace negotiations.

By Yakir Benzion, United With Israel

A recent public opinion poll conducted by a leading Palestinian polling organization revealed that a majority of Palestinians are not interested in talking to Israel.

The poll was conducted by the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion (PCPO), headed by Dr. Nabil Kukali, whose polling results are recognized as reliable and accurate by major organizations.

The PCPO says it conducted the survey with a focus on the recent decision by the Palestinian Authority to resume contacts with the Israeli government after cutting off all relations in May over Israeli intentions to apply sovereignty over Newish communities in Judea and Samaria.

Israel shelved the sovereignty issue in favor of peace treaties with the UAE and Bahrain, and last week the PA decided to resume security cooperation with Israel and resume monthly transfers of hundreds of millions in tax money Israel collects on behalf of the PA.

The poll found that 59% of Palestinians oppose the return of relations with Israel, 55% oppose the resumption of the security coordination, and 52% oppose the resumption of the peace negotiations with Israel.

Given the constant barrage of anti-Israel propaganda in Palestinian media, it is not surprising that the poll also found that 81% of Palestinians do not – to various degrees – “trust the commitments of Israel and its obligations to the agreements signed with the Palestinian Authority.”

When the PA cut ties with Israel, it also refused to accept hundreds of millions in tax money that Israel collects and regularly transfers to the Palestinian treasury. The Palestinians were already cash-strapped after President Donald Trump ordered a halt in American aid to the PA over its refusal to halt its pay-for-slay program of monthly payments to convicted terrorists.

Trump put into action the Taylor-Force Act, a bipartisan piece of legislation in Congress that bans U.S. tax money going to the Palestinians unless they halt pay-for-slay.

The Palestinians’ refusal to stop paying violent terrorists and their next-of-kin even ran afoul of the pro-Palestinian European Union, which also threatened to stop funding the PA unless it took the tax money from Israel.

With the PA feeling the cash crunch and banking on president-elect Joe Biden to ease U.S. policy towards them, the Palestinians last week decided to reengage with Israel and take the cash transfers, despite a majority of Palestinians saying they prefer to keep ties with Israel frozen.

Kukali said the opinion poll was based on a survey of 516 respondents with an average age of 32.4 years, 311 from Palestinian areas in Judea and Samaria and the other 205 from Gaza. The margin of error for the poll was ±4.38%.

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