Poll reveals young Palestinians overwhelmingly reject ISIL, don’t trust any leader

Special to WorldTribune.com

Palestinian youth overwhelmingly oppose Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) and don’t trust any of the Palestinian leadership factions, according to a new poll.

Most young Palestinians say they are socially conservative and believe the Israeli-Palestinian conflict cannot be resolved through negotiations, the poll published on April 25 by the Jerusalem Media and Communications Center found.

Palestinian youth clashed with Israeli soldiers in Abu Hamdiyeh's West Bank hometown of Hebron. /AFP
Palestinian youth clash with Israeli soldiers in the West Bank town of Hebron. /AFP

More than 80 percent of those surveyed had negative opinions of ISIL.

When asked which leaders they trust, 32.7 percent said they did not trust anyone. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, at just 16 percent, garnered the most trust of any named leader.

The poll is based on face-to-face interviews with 1,000 Palestinians aged 16-30 in Judea, Samaria and Gaza.

While 47.4 percent of youths in Judea and Samaria oppose stabbing attacks against Israelis, 78.6 percent of Gaza youths support them, according to the poll. In addition, 66.6 percent of the respondents in Gaza believe the current wave of violence serves the Palestinian cause, while only 40.9 percent in the West Bank agree.

Sixty-seven percent of respondents said they believe that negotiations will not succeed in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and 64.3 percent oppose the idea of working with like-minded Israelis to find a solution to the conflict. The majority, or 52.9 percent, support a possible resumption of negotiations with Israel, but a sizable minority, at 43 percent, oppose doing so.

On social issues, the majority of those polled, or 65.3 percent, said they do not shake hands with members of the opposite sex. Respondents were sharply divided on the issue of co-education, with 49.8 percent opposed and 48.1 percent in favor.