A majority of the Palestinian people back the Makkah deal, while 62% support the upcoming three-way summit between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and US Secretary of States Condleezza Rice, a Ramallah poll revealed.
The poll was conducted by the Ramallah-based Near East Institute for Consulting. It showed that 94% of respondents backed the Makkah deal on unity government and 79% believed that the deal is workable, while 63% hoped it would help lift the internationally-imposed economic embargo.

From Feb.12 to Feb.15, the Near East Institute conducted phone calls with a random sample of 1,200 Palestinians from the Gaza Strip, West Bank and East Jerusalem. 806 calls were conducted in total.

The public opinion poll also included other recent developments across the occupied Palestinian territories, mainly the Palestinian residents’ attitude towards Fatah and Hamas, the security situation, poverty, and possible peace with Israel.

77% of those polled believed that the likleyhood of a civil war breaking out has been largely reduced due to the recent agreement on a national unity government in Makkah. 15% believed that such a war is likely, while 8% believed the possibility has increased despite the agreement.

Answering a question as to who has benefited from the Makkah deal, 38% said that both Hamas and Fatah have, while 20% believed Fatah alone has. 19% said Hamas has, while 23% believed that the Palestinian people at large have benefited.

Regarding the security situation, 85% of the respondents expressed fear that their current conditions will deteriorate, 29% believed that the conflict between internal powers is the main reason for such deterioration and 19% indicated that the economic suffering is the reason.

Despite the agreement on a national unity government, 75% voiced concern over the security of their families and belongings, while 51% appeared to be feeling more secure than they were prior to the signing of the Makkah deal.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and his Prime Minister Ismail Haniya, agreed last Thursday to form a new national unity government including Hamas and Fatah as well as other Palestinian factions, that goes in line with past signed peace agreements and international legitimacy.