Palestinians Support Suicide Bombing
By: Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research / PSR
Monday, October 20, 2003

A new poll shows 75 percent of the PA believes in "martyrdom" to kill Jews.
With Yasser Arafat's popularity reaching its highest level in five years, three-quarters of Palestinians support the Haifa restaurant suicide bombing. Another two-thirds believe the Road Map is dead. Despite that, 85 percent of Palestinians support a mutual cessation of violence. Two-thirds support a return to "husna" (truce) and 59 percent support taking action against those who would violate a ceasefire.

October 7-14,2003

The Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR) in Ramallah has conducted a public opinion poll in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip during the period between October 7-14, 2003. A representative sample of 1,318 adults was interviewed face to face in 120 locations, with 3% margin of error. For further details, contact PSR director, Dr. Khalil Shikaki or Ayoub Mustafa, at Tel 02-2964933 or email pcpsr@pcpsr.org. 

Table of Contents:

(1) Arafat and Palestinian Domestic Conditions

(2) Peace and Security

(3) Perceptions of the U.S.


The results of this poll point to a degree of contradictions in Palestinian public attitudes toward domestic political issues as well as issues of peace and security. The results show a large increase in Arafat’s popularity not seen during the last five years. They also show widespread support for his decision to declare a state of emergency and to appoint Ahmad Qurai’ as a prime minister. In addition, 60% support placing all Palestinian security services under the control of a national security council headed by Arafat. Nonetheless, the overwhelming majority of Palestinians believe the increase in support for Arafat is due to Sharon’s recent threats against him. Moreover, more than 90% still support internal and external calls for extensive political reforms in the PA and 82% still believe that corruption exists in the PA.

In the realm of peace and security, the findings show widespread support, reaching 75%, for the suicide attack at the Maxim restaurant in Haifa, where 20 Israelis were killed. More than two thirds believe that the Roadmap is dead and 78% believe that current Israeli measures, including the building of the separation wall, reduces that chances for the establishment of a Palestinian state in the future. Nonetheless, almost two thirds support a return to the Hunda, 85% support mutual cessation of violence, and, for the first time since the establishment of the PA, 59% support taking measures to prevent attacks on Israelis after reaching an agreement on mutual cessation of violence. Furthermore, about two thirds still support a solution based on two states: Israel and a Palestinian state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Main Results

(1) Arafat and Palestinian Domestic Conditions

(2) Peace and Security

(3) Perceptions of the US


This PSR survey was conducted with the support of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Ramallah.