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THE ISRAEL REPORT

January/February 2000
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JMCC: Palestinian Attitudes Towards Palestinian Refugees - December 1999

Jerusalem Media & Communication Centre (JMCC)
P.O.Box 25047, East Jerusalem, Palestine
Tel. 972-2-5819777, Fax. 972-2-5829534
E-mail: jmcc@jmcc.org


Introduction

Comparative Findings for the Survey of Israeli Jews, Arab Israelis (Palestinians in Israel), and the Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip This Public Opinion Poll is a joint project between the Jerusalem Media and Communication Center in Jerusalem and the Tami Steinmetz Center in Tel Aviv. It was conducted in October 1999.

* Most Palestinians consider the refugee problem to be the second most important and difficult after Jerusalem, whilst most Israeli Jews consider it least important and not very difficult issue to be resolved within the framework of the final status talks.

* The majority of the Jewish population (57.2%) believes that the Palestinian refugees should be settled in their present place of residence. In contrast, 53.2% of the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza and 54.9% of the Arab Israelis consider the right of return of refugees to their place of origin inside Israel as paramount.

* Most West Bank and Gaza Palestinians (59%) and 60.8% of the Israeli Palestinians blame the Jewish forces for creating the Palestinian refugee problem and 31% of the Israeli Jews hold the Jewish forces responsible for creating the refugee problem whilst 29.9% of this population stated that the refugees left voluntarily.

* 73.6% of the Arab Israelis and 49.9% of the West bank and Gaza respondents blame Israel (only or mainly) for being responsible for creating the refugee problem. 35.5% of the Jewish population in Israel blamed both Israel and the Arab world for creating the refugee problem whilst 11.8% blamed Israel (only or mainly).

* More than 80% of the West Bankers and Gazans believe that the implementation of UN Resolution 194 which calls for the right of return and compensation of the refugees as a fair solution to the refugee problem. Only 4.5% of the Israeli Jews said so despite the fact that only 25.3% of the Israeli Jews oppose the international law principle which calls for the return of refugees to their place of return after the cessation of hostilities.

Methodology

The methodology used on the Palestinian sample in West Bank (including East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip:

The West Bank and the Gaza Strip sample was conducted by the Jerusalem Media and Communications Center. A random sample of 1200 people over the age of 18 were interviewed face-to-face throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip on 21, 22 October 1999. The interviews were conducted in randomly selected homes, and the subjects inside each home were also selected randomly according to Kish tables. The interviews were conducted in 58 sampling points chosen randomly according to population. In the West Bank, 762 people were surveyed and 438 people were surveyed in the Gaza Strip. The margin of error is +/-3 percent, with a confidence level of 95.

The methodology used on the Jewish sample in Israel:

The Israeli Jewish sample was held within the context of the Peace Index project of the Tami Steinmetz Center for Peace Research at Tel Aviv University, headed by Prof. Ephraim Ya'ar and Dr. Tamar Hermann, and carried out by "Teleseker". The poll included 500 persons polled by phone, constituting a representative sample of the adult Jewish population in Israel (including residents of settlements and Kibbutzim). The margin of error in a sample of this size is approximately +/- 4.5%

The methodology used on the Palestinian sample in Israel:

The sample of Palestinians in Israel consisted of 500 men and women ranging in the age from 18 and above, and drawn on a stratified, random basis from 20 localities representing size of community and regional distribution headed by Prof. Elia Zreik, and the survey was conducted by Dr. 'As'aad Ghanem. In line with other published estimates, around one-quarter (23.2%) of the randomly selected respondents turned out to be internal refugees, i.e., those who were displaced in 1948 and remained in what became Israel, but were not allowed to go back to their villages. The interviews were carried out face-to-face, and were conducted during November 1-10, 1999. The sample of the palestinians in Israel has a marginal error of +/- 4.5%.

Following are the full results:
(In Percentages)

Q. 1 In your opinion, of the following issues discussed in the framework of the Israeli - Palestinian peace negotiations, which are the three most difficult for the two sides to find an agreeable solution to? Please indicate the most difficult issue, the second most difficult and the third?


Arab Israelis
(1) Rank #1
(2) Rank #2
(3) Rank #3
(4) Total
(5) Overall Rank

Israeli Jews
(6) Rank #1
(7) Rank #2
(8) Rank #3
(9) Total
(10)Overall Rank

-(1)--(2)--(3)--(4)--(5)--(6)--(7)--(8)--(9)-(10)
14.2 20.4 17.2 51.8 03 07.2 16.7 14.5 38.4 04 Palestinian State
53.2 23.4 06.2 82.8 01 70.9 13.7 04.4 89.0 01 Jerusalem
01.4 11.4 07.2 20.0 05 04.8 17.3 17.5 39.7 03 Borders
11.0 15.8 29.8 56.6 02 07.2 15.4 14.3 36.8 05 Refugees
03.8 01.6 04.2 09.7 06 02.1 09.3 11.7 23.1 06 Water
05.0 13.6 18.2 36.8 04 03.8 19.8 21.8 45.5 02 Jewish Settlements
08.4 08.4 08.4 25.2 -- 03.3 07.4 14.9 25.6 -- Don't know
03.0 05.4 08.8 17.2 -- ---- ---- ---- ---- -- No answer
---- ---- ---- ---- -- 00.8 00.3 00.8 01.6 07 Other answer

Palestinians in West Bank
(1) Rank #1
(2) Rank #2
(3) Rank #3
(4) Total
(5) Overall Rank

Palestinians in Gaza
(6) Rank #1
(7) Rank #2
(8) Rank #3
(9) Total
(10)Overall Rank

-(1)--(2)--(3)--(4)--(5)--(6)--(7)--(8)--(9)-(10)
16.3 10.4 09.4 36.1 04 10.3 19.5 09.4 39.2 04 Palestinian State
52.2 20.6 11.4 84.2 01 66.4 17.6 05.3 99.3 01 Jerusalem
03.7 10.8 14.8 26.3 05 01.1 05.5 07.5 14.1 06 Borders
09.3 26.5 23.9 59.7 02 07.1 29.0 21.5 57.6 02 Refugees
03.1 06.5 09.7 19.3 06 03.9 07.1 13.7 24.7 05 Water
11.3 20.5 24.8 56.6 03 07.3 15.8 30.6 53.7 03 Jewish Settlements
----- ----- ----- ----- --- ----- ----- ----- ----- -- Don't know
04.1 04.7 06.0 14.8 03.9 05.5 11.9 21.3 No answer

Q. 2 In your opinion, which of above issues are the three most important for the two sides to find an agreeable solution to?

Arab Israelis
(1) Rank #1
(2) Rank #2
(3) Rank #3
(4) Total
(5) Overall Rank

Israeli Jews
(6) Rank #1
(7) Rank #2
(8) Rank #3
(9) Total
(10)Overall Rank

-(1)--(2)--(3)--(4)--(5)--(6)--(7)--(8)--(9)-(10)
13.8 20.4 19.4 53.6 02 13.8 14.0 12.1 38.4 04 Palestinian State
48.2 22.0 06.2 76.4 01 48.4 18.8 09.2 89.0 01 Jerusalem
01.8 08.8 07.0 17.6 05 12.1 17.1 15.3 39.7 03 Borders
13.6 14.6 24.4 52.6 03 05.2 13.3 10.3 36.8 05 Refugees
05.8 03.8 04.0 13.6 06 06.4 10.4 13.0 23.1 06 Water
05.6 16.2 19.0 40.8 04 04.6 13.2 22.3 45.5 02 Jewish Settlements
08.6 08.6 08.6 25.8 06.6 12.6 17.2 36.4 Don't know
02.6 05.6 11.4 19.6 07 ---- ---- ---- ---- No answer
---- ---- ---- ---- 02.8 00.6 00.6 03.3 07 Other Answer

Palestinians in West Bank
(1) Rank #1
(2) Rank #2
(3) Rank #3
(4) Total
(5) Overall Rank

Palestinians in Gaza
(6) Rank #1
(7) Rank #2
(8) Rank #3
(9) Total
(10)Overall Rank

-(1)--(2)--(3)--(4)--(5)--(6)--(7)--(8)--(9)-(10)
18.0 10.0 12.2 40.2 04 11.9 13.7 11.6 37.2 04 Palestinian State
48.7 21.0 10.6 80.3 01 55.0 18.0 05.3 78.3 01 Jerusalem
06.0 13.5 14.3 33.8 05 02.5 08.2 09.1 19.8 06 Borders
09.2 24.7 24.8 58.7 02 09.4 29.2 18.7 57.3 02 Refugees
04.5 07.6 09.6 21.7 06 07.3 08.9 13.5 29.7 05 Water
11.0 19.7 24.3 55.0 03 09.4 14.2 29.7 53.3 03 Jewish Settlements
---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- Don't know
02.6 03.5 04.2 10.3 04.5 07.8 12.1 24.4 No answer

Q. 3 What caused the 1948 Palestinian refugee problem in the first instance?

ISPA ISJ PWB PGA
06.0 29.9 04.5 03.2 Mainly, the refugees left voluntarily
01.0 17.3 06.2 05.5 Mainly, the refugees were told to leave by Arab leaders
60.8 31.0 56.4 63.5 Mainly, Jewish forces expelled the refugees
19.4 04.7 23.2 17.6 Combination of the above (indicate which ones)
---- ---- 04.3 05.8 Other Answer
10.8 23.3 04.1 02.1 Don't know
02.0 ---- 01.3 02.3 No answer
ISPA = Palestinians in Israel (N=500)
ISJ = Israeli Jews (N=500)
PWB = Palestinians in West Bank* (N=762)
PGA = Palestinians in Gaza (N=438)
* Includes East Jerusalem

Q. 4 Which of the following solutions to the refugee issue is most just in your opinion?
a. Should be based on UN Resolution 194 which calls for the right of return to all the Palestinian refugees and
compensation to those who do not return.
b. The returning of a limited number of Palestinian refugees to Israel and suitable compensation to those who
will not return based on an agreement between Israel and the Palstinians.
c. Only those who are approved by Israel should be allowed to return and compensation to those who do not
return.

ISPA ISJ PWB PGA
61.4 04.5 81.1 82.6 UN Resolution 194
22.0 14.9 10.4 12.2 Return of a limited number
05.0 56.8 03.5 01.8 Only those approved by Israel
01.6 00.2 00.5 00.0 There is no refugee problem
09.2 05.0 ---- ---- Don't know
00.8 18.7 04.5 03.4 No answer
ISPA = Palestinians in Israel (N=500)
ISJ = Israeli Jews (N=500)
PWB = Palestinians in West Bank* (N=762)
PGA = Palestinians in Gaza (N=438)
* Includes East Jerusalem

Q. 5 Under the present circumstances, which of the above solutions looks most feasible to you?

ISPA ISJ PWB PGA
49.2 04.7 66.8 58.0 UN Resolution 194
29.6 20.8 15.7 24.2 Return of a limited number
07.8 50.8 06.6 06.2 Only those approved by Israel
01.6 00.2 00.5 00.2 There is no refugee problem
11.0 07.2 ---- ---- Don't know
00.8 ---- 10.4 11.4 No answer
---- 16.3@---- ---- Other Answer
ISPA = Palestinians in Israel (N=500)
ISJ = Israeli Jews (N=500)
PWB = Palestinians in West Bank* (N=762)
PGA = Palestinians in Gaza (N=438)
* Includes East Jerusalem
@In the Israeli Jewish sample, "Other Answer" included the following: 10.0% said none of the given options are possible; 0.7% said all are possible, and 5.0% offered other solutions.

Part II
Palestinian Israeli Attitudes Towards Palestinian Refugees
December 1999
Q. 6 What is the number of refugees who should be allowed to return?

ISPA ISJ PWB PGA
00.6 42.7 01.6 00.6 None should be allowed to return
01.4 21.9 03.5 02.3 Few hundreds should be allowed to return
04.6 10.7 12.1 08.7 Few thousands should be allowed to return
82.2 11.5 77.7 82.9 Anyone wishing to return should be allowed to return
09.6 13.1 ---- ---- Don't know
01.6 ---- 05.1 05.5 No answer
ISPA = Palestinians in Israel (N=500)
ISJ = Israeli Jews (N=500)
PWB = Palestinians in West Bank* (N=762)
PGA = Palestinians in Gaza (N=438)
* Includes East Jerusalem

Q. 7 Where should the Palestinian refugees be permanently settled?

ISPA ISJ PWB PGA
58.2 05.3 53.2 54.9 Mainly in their original homes inside Israel
11.2 32.3 30.3 28.5 Mainly in places within the Palestinians state
22.6@---- ---- ---- Mainly in the Palestinians state and inside Israel
02.4 57.2 07.6 06.8 Mainly in their present places of residence in the Middle
East or elsewhere
04.6 05.2 07.5 08.2 Don't know
00.4 ---- 01.4 01.6 No answer
ISPA = Palestinians in Israel (N=500)
ISJ = Israeli Jews (N=500)
PWB = Palestinians in West Bank* (N=762)
PGA = Palestinians in Gaza (N=438)
* Includes East Jerusalem

@Category was included only in the survey of Arab Israelis.

Q. 8 Who should compensate the refugees?

ISPA ISJ PWB PGA
01.2 17.0 02.1 01.1 No one
69.0 18.3 25.3 13.5 Israel
08.0 41.3 13.3 15.1 International bodies such as the UN
00.6 29.9 05.9 04.8 Arab governments
00.2 11.4 ---- ---- US
12.6 ---- 49.1@57.9@Any combination of the above (indicate which)
07.4 05.7 ---- ---- Don't know
01.0 ---- 04.1 03.7 No answer
---- ---- 00.2 03.9 Other answers
ISPA = Palestinians in Israel (N=500)
ISJ = Israeli Jews (N=500)
PWB = Palestinians in West Bank* (N=762)
PGA = Palestinians in Gaza (N=438)
* Includes East Jerusalem

@Assignment of blame refelects a combined response of three categories:
Israel + Arab goverments; Israel + International Bodies + arab governments; Israel + International Bodies

Q. 9 There are different opinions on the question of who is responsible for the creation of the refugee problem in 1948 - Israel or the Arabs. In your opinion who is the responsible side?

ISPA ISJ PWB PGA
40.6 04.8 16.5 18.3 Only Israel
33.0 07.0 34.9 29.2 Mostly Israel
09.6 35.0 40.9 45.4 Israel and the Arab side to the same extent
04.6 22.2 ---- ---- Mostly Arab side
00.8 21.1 03.5 04.1 Only the Arab side
10.8 09.9 ---- ---- Don't know
00.6 ---- 04.2 03.0 No answer
ISPA = Palestinians in Israel (N=500)
ISJ = Israeli Jews (N=500)
PWB = Palestinians in West Bank* (N=762)
PGA = Palestinians in Gaza (N=438)
* Includes East Jerusalem

Q. 10 According to international law, people who have left their homes voluntarily or by force because of war conditions are entitled to return back once hostilities end. Do you agree or disagree with this principle?

ISPA ISJ PWB PGA
70.4 18.2 55.8 54.1 Agree without any qualifications
22.4 51.8 27.0 29.0 Depending on the circumstances
01.2 25.3 08.4 05.9 Do not agree
05.0 04.7 06.6 09.6 Don't know
01.0 ---- 02.2 01.4 No answer
ISPA = Palestinians in Israel (N=500)
ISJ = Israeli Jews (N=500)
PWB = Palestinians in West Bank* (N=762)
PGA = Palestinians in Gaza (N=438)
* Includes East Jerusalem

Q. 11 Do you agree or disagree that this principle [of international law] applies to the case of the Palestinian refugees?

ISPA ISJ PWB PGA
69.2 10.9 47.1 45.7 Strongly Agree
22.8 29.2 33.5 37.2 Agree
01.6 21.7 08.9 04.3 Disagree
00.0 29.7 01.0 01.6 Strongly Disagree
05.4 08.4 07.0 09.4 Don't know
01.0 ---- 02.5 01.8 No answer
ISPA = Palestinians in Israel (N=500)
ISJ = Israeli Jews (N=500)
PWB = Palestinians in West Bank* (N=762)
PGA = Palestinians in Gaza (N=438)
* Includes East Jerusalem

Q. 12 What do you think is the overall number of the Palestinian refugees today (the term Palestinian refugees refers to those who left or forced to leave their homes because of the 1948 War and their descendants).

ISPA ISJ PWB PGA
19.8 31.7 11.6 10.5 Up to 1 million
09.6 15.4 18.2 18.3 1- 2 million
09.6 06.6 19.2 16.0 2 -3 million
10.6 04.9 16.4 22.5 3 -4 million
06.8 04.1 18.2 21.7 4 million or more
42.8 37.3 ---- ---- Don't know
00.8 ---- 16.4 11.0 No answer
ISPA = Palestinians in Israel (N=500)
ISJ = Israeli Jews (N=500)
PWB = Palestinians in West Bank* (N=762)
PGA = Palestinians in Gaza (N=438)
* Includes East Jerusalem

Q. 13 Can you please try and assess how many Palestinian refugees will actually use the right of return if granted to them and leave their present places of residence and move to Israel?

ISPA ISJ PWB PGA
04.4 23.0 10.8 06.8 Up to 100.000
11.6 14.2 17.6 22.2 100.000 - 500.000
06.8 21.0 **-- **-- 500.000 - 1 million
07.2 -**- 23.4 32.0 1- 2 million
11.0 05.5 13.1 18.5 2 -3 million
**-- 01.2 **-- **-- 3 - 4 million
15.6 04.0 17.3 10.7 4 million and up
42.8 31.2 ---- ---- Don't know
00.6 ---- 17.8 09.8 No answer
ISPA = Palestinians in Israel (N=500)
ISJ = Israeli Jews (N=500)
PWB = Palestinians in West Bank* (N=762)
PGA = Palestinians in Gaza (N=438)
* Includes East Jerusalem
** Category was not included in question.


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