Palestinians doubt Israeli pullout plan

Most Palestinians do not believe Israel is serious about its plan to evacuate all 21 illegal settlements in the Gaza Strip.

    A majority cannot imagine Israel will ever leave its colonies

    According to a poll published on Tuesday, more than 45% said Israel was "not serious at all" while another 25% also doubted the evacuation was genuine.

    Only 28% answered that they felt Tel Aviv was sincere about dismantling its illegal colonies.

    However, a majority of respondents said the Palestinian leadership should reject the pullout as currently proposed by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

    But 37% said it should be accepted, and eight did not express an opinion.

    Question of leadership

    The poll by the Jerusalem Media and Communication Centre found that 47% were not satisfied with Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat's leadership, slightly higher than the 45.5% who expressed satisfaction.

    But the veteran leader remained the most trusted figure among Palestinians, with 23% giving him the nod, far ahead of the next in line, jailed West Bank Fatah leader Marwan Barghuthi who scored only 6%.

    And almost 61% said that Arafat would be re-elected president if elections were held.

    Dodgy dealings

    Nine out of ten deemed the Palestinian Authority to be corrupt, while barely 4% said it was not. The rest did not express an opinion.

    Lawlessness in the West Bank and Gaza is mostly due to the Israeli occupation, said 47% of those polled. Another 23.3% pointed a finger at the Palestinian Authority and its security services.

    More than 26% of those questioned for the survey, which had a margin of error of 3%, said that some Palestinian factions "exploit the situation to bypass law and order."

    SOURCE: Agencies


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