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Palestinians Say US President’s Party ‘Makes No Difference’

By Ma'an Staff | Ma'an News Agency

March 17, 2016

Photo: Ma'an

[Bethlehem] – The majority of Palestinians believe the political affiliation of the future US president “makes no difference” when it comes to advancing the peace process, according to a recent public opinion poll.

The poll, conducted by Ramallah-based Palestinian Center for Survey and Research (PSR), revealed that while 27 percent of Palestinians said a Democratic US president would be better for the peace process, 16 percent preferred a Republican.

Fifty-two percent meanwhile believed the political affiliation of the future president would be irrelevant both to the peace process and future relations between US and Palestinian leadership.

PSR reported that most Palestinians indicated a lack of familiarity with the majority of US presidential candidates, but overwhelmingly rejected the statement made by Donald Trump on banning Muslims from entering the US.

Some 59 percent of those polled agreed with Hillary Clinton’s statement that efforts should continue to achieve Israeli-Palestinian peace and that the best outcome for both sides is a two-state solution.

While the majority of Palestinians thought that Arab Americans had little influence on US foreign policy, 76 percent believed that the Jewish American community has significant influence.

PSR’s recently-published survey results were based on face-to-face interviews that took place mid-February with 1,270 adults questioned for the poll, which it said had a margin of error of 3 percent.

Palestinians have increasingly rejected US-led efforts towards a two-state solution, with two-thirds believing that such a solution was no longer viable due to settlement expansion as of the end of last year, according to PSR.

Construction of illegal settlements by consecutive Israeli governments on Palestinian land have effectively made a contiguous Palestinian state impossible, and Israel has continued to ignore calls by rights organizations and the international community to halt settlement growth.

US Vice President Joe Biden criticized Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during his visit to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory last week, chastising Abbas for his failure to condemn recent Palestinian attacks, one of which left an American tourist dead.

While Abbas gave his condolences to Biden for the death of the American, he highlighted that Israeli forces had killed nearly 200 Palestinians during the past six months.

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