Majority of Palestinians back UN bid
Ramallah - A large majority of the Palestinian public - 83% - supports the plan to seek full UN membership for a Palestinian state, an opinion poll released on Monday showed.
The poll, carried out by the Palestinian Centre for Policy and Survey Research (PSR), found Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza back the bid despite fearing the serious economic consequences which could follow the membership request.
Fully 78% said they expect Israel to suspend crucial tax and tariff transfers and increase restrictions on the Palestinians in response to the UN campaign, with 64% also expecting Washington to impose punitive financial measures.
"A semi-consensus is evolving over the issue of seeking UN membership and recognition of Palestinian statehood, despite the fact that a large majority believe that the step will lead to greater hardships on the ground," PSR said.
The poll found little expectation that the UN bid would be successful, with more than three-quarters of respondents - 77% - saying they expect the United States to veto the request.
Most said they supported the campaign of support rallies which are to take place this week, with 54% saying they expected to join in at some stage.
The Palestinian Authority has insisted the rallies will be peaceful and not stray outside of areas under their control, dismissing out of hand Israeli fears of mass unrest.
The poll, which surveyed 1 200 people in the West Bank and Gaza and had a three percent margin of error, was conducted just before president Mahmud Abbas flew on Sunday to New York to submit his formal state membership request.
Abbas is to address the General Assembly on Friday, after which he will submit the request for the UN to admit a Palestinian state based on the lines that existed before the 1967 Six War, encompassing Gaza and the West Bank, including annexed Arab east Jerusalem.