Most Palestinians don’t see a Joe Biden presidency as positive: Palestine poll

People hold a Palestinian flag in East Jerusalem on August 14, 2020. (Reuters)

Only 21 percent of Palestinians believe a Joe Biden presidency will lead to positive policy change, a new poll conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR) said.

The public opinion poll found that 35 percent of Palestinians living in the Palestinian Territories expect US policy towards Palestine to become worse under Biden, with another 34 percent believing the American policy will not change.

Conducted in September, the survey sampled 1,270 adults living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. It did not measure the views of Palestinians living outside of Palestine.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, who formerly served as vice president under President Barack Obama, has spoken out against Israeli annexation of Palestinian lands and condemned US President Donald Trump’s peace plan, largely denounced by Palestinians as biased towards Israel.

Then-US Vice President Joe Biden (L) meets with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank city of Ramallah March 9, 2016. (Reuters)

Then-US Vice President Joe Biden (L) meets with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank city of Ramallah March 9, 2016. (Reuters)

Read more: Palestinians skeptical of Trump’s Middle East peace plan

However Biden has said he will keep the US embassy in Jerusalem if elected president. Trump moved the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in 2017, a contentious decision that recognized Jerusalem as the united capital of Israel.

Biden has described himself as a “Zionist” and began a 2015 speech with “My name is Joe Biden, and everybody knows I love Israel.”

Palestinian Authority seen as ‘burden’

The participants were also asked to comment on domestic and regional politics, including the recent peace agreement between Israel and the UAE.

A Palestinian man walks outside the Dome of the Rock Mosque in Jerusalem's al-Aqsa compound on July 9, 2020. (AFP)

A Palestinian man walks outside the Dome of the Rock Mosque in Jerusalem's al-Aqsa compound on July 9, 2020. (AFP)

Sixty-two percent of Palestinians want President Mahmood Abbas to resign, up four percent from a June poll. Less than one third of Palestinians - 31 percent - are satisfied with the performance of Abbas.

Read more: Palestinian President bans offensive statements towards Arab leaders including UAE

Abbas, who has held the position of president for 15 years, is head of the Palestinian Authority (PA), a government body viewed by 62 percent of Palestinians as a “burden on the Palestinian people,” according to the poll.

UAE-Israel normalization on ‘shoulders of Palestinians’

A majority of Palestinians, 53 percent, “blamed” the UAE-Israel normalization deal on the Palestinian leadership’s division and own recognition of Israel. The late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat formally recognized the State of Israel in 1993.

A protester waves a Palestinian flag in front of the Jewish settlement of Ofra during clashes near the West Bank village of Deir Jarir near Ramallah April 26, 2013. (Reuters)

A protester waves a Palestinian flag in front of the Jewish settlement of Ofra during clashes near the West Bank village of Deir Jarir near Ramallah April 26, 2013. (Reuters)

Palestinians are politically divided between Abbas’ Fatah party, which leads the PA in the West Bank, and Palestinian militant group Hamas that dominates Gaza.

Hamas is designated by much of the international community, including the US, as a terrorist organization.

Long-standing rivals with ideological divisions, cooperation between Fatah and Hamas has faltered historically. Following Hamas’ upset victory in the 2006 elections, Fatah initially refused to join the government.

A member of Palestinian Hamas security forces stands outside the Kerem Shalom crossing in the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah, on August 11, 2020. (File photo: AFP)

A member of Palestinian Hamas security forces stands outside the Kerem Shalom crossing in the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah, on August 11, 2020. (File photo: AFP)

In June 2007, Hamas seized Gaza from the Fatah-led PA, after talks faltered between Hamas’ leader Ismail Haniyeh and Abbas. Multiple agreements have been signed between the two since, but all collapsed.

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Last Update: Sunday, 11 October 2020 KSA 16:28 - GMT 13:28
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