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Poll shows most Palestinians dissatisfied with peace process
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RAMALLAH, March 19 (Xinhua) -- An absolute majority among the Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip believe that things are heading in the wrong direction, a public opinion survey showed Wednesday.

Sixty-six percent of the 1,200 sample people believe that things are heading in the wrong direction, while 49 percent said they are pessimistic about the future, according to the study conducted in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank by the Arab World Research and Development Center (AWRAD).

The poll, which was published on Wednesday, showed that 53 percent of respondents say that their family's economic situation is worse than it was a year ago. In contrast, 33 percent of them that it has stayed the same.

The Gaza Strip, ruled by Hamas movement, has been under a tight Israeli blockade and Egyptian security measures for around eight years, while the West Bank suffers from expansion of settlement and deteriorated economy.

Due to the Israeli policies, rates of poverty and unemployment, mainly in Gaza have grown, while a stalemate peace process had created a status of disappointment among the Palestinians.

The poll said that 52 percent support a two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, while 46 percent oppose.

The U.S.-sponsored peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians were resumed last July and the two sides were given a nine-month ultimatum to hummer out a peace deal.

However, Israeli and Palestinian officials had earlier declared that no progress had been so far achieved. Even the visit of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to Washington and his meeting with President Barack Obama hadn't achieved any progress.

The poll showed that 48 percent of respondents believe that the "Kerry Peace Plan" or Framework Agreement will fail in producing a final status agreement, adding "20 years after Oslo, 64 percent believe that Palestinians are now farther from achieving their goal of a Palestinian state."

It also showed that 55 percent of respondents say that they have received limited or no information on the current round of negotiations, and that 49 percent support the current round of negotiations, while 44 percent oppose it.

The poll said that 44 percent of Palestinian do not support a resolution to the Palestinian-Israeli situation involving further concessions, even if President Abbas states that it would best serve Palestinian interests.

It also showed that 77 percent of the respondents believe that the Palestinians are serious about negotiations leading to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, while only 13 percent believe the same about Israel.

The survey was conducted on March 9 and 11, and published on Wednesday.

 

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