A recent poll conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR) in the occupied West Bank and besieged Gaza Strip has revealed that an overwhelming majority have lost faith in Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, with two-thirds of poll participants demanding his resignation.
The poll, which was conducted between September 14-16 and published on Tuesday, revealed that a majority of the population in the West Bank and Gaza are worried about the future of civil liberties in the territories, amidst a rise in the arrest of journalists and activists who speak out against Abbas and the Palestinian Authority (PA) under Abbas’ new Cyber Crimes Law, which has been described by rights groups as “draconian” and “the worst law in the PA’s history.”
According to the center’s findings, “a large majority believes that Palestinians cannot criticize the PA without fear. In fact, half of the public believes that the PA has now become a burden on the Palestinian people,” with the center adding that these fears “might be responsible for the increase in the demand for the resignation of President Abbas.”
Current poll numbers stated that 67 percent of the public want Abbas to resign, while 27 percent want him to remain in office, compared to three months ago, when 62 percent said they wanted Abbas to resign.
The center highlighted that demands for Abbas’ resignation stand at 60 percent in the PA-administered West Bank and at 80 percent in the Hamas controlled the Gaza Strip. Three months ago demand for Abbas resignation stood at 55 percent in the West Bank and 75 percent in the Gaza Strip.
In their findings, the center went on to declare that if presidential elections were to be held today, across the West Bank and Gaza, Hamas movement leader Ismail Haniyeh would win against Abbas, noting, however, that the Fatah movement still remains more popular than the Hamas movement in the West Bank.
According to the center, the most serious problem confronting Palestinian society today is poverty and unemployment in the eyes of 26 percent of the public; 25 percent believe it is the spread of corruption in public institutions; 23 percent say it is the continuation of occupation and settlement activities; 20 percent say it is the siege of the Gaza Strip and the closure of its crossings.