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Politics, Security and the Barrier

31 December, 2005


This report is divided into three sections, preceded by a methodological introduction. The first section deals with mobility and security in the context of the conflict. This part also includes a note on the impact of the Separation Barrier in the oPt. The second section analyses public perceptions of security sector governance. The third section assesses Palestinian perceptions of the political situation and the peace process.

 Table of Contents

Objectives and Methodology

Mobility, Security, and Impact of the Barrier, by Jalal Al Husseini, Chiraz Skirhi, and Tareq Abu El Haj

Government Change and Security Sector Governance, by Roland Friedrich, Arnold Luethold, and Luigi De Martino

Politics and the Peace Process, by Riccardo Bocco, & Celine Calve


This report examines if, and to what extent, changes in the political and socio-economic environment have affected Palestinian public perceptions of security sector governance. It also explores whether the change of government has altered the way Palestinians' perceive not only their security needs but also the peace process and their trust in political factions and the government.

Considering that the new Hamas government was sworn in on 29 March 2006 and thus had just assumed its functions when the survey was conducted, the report does not provide information on how the public views the performance of the current government. Instead, it shows what the public thinks of the situation that Hamas inherited. The report provides a baseline assessment for a new government. Only a comparison with future assessments will eventually allow for conclusions to be drawn on the new government’s performance.

Understanding how the public views the performance of the government and how it trusts political factions and the security sector is important for good governance. Equally important is to understand how the public perceives the political situation and the process of negotiating peace.

Studies of public perception are a crucial tool not only for assessing the quality of governance, but also for evaluating the future direction of reforms. By giving the people a voice in the discussion of their own future, public perception studies are a step towards greater inclusiveness in the management and oversight of key public issues. They also help to establish public accountability of the government and toinvolve civil society in the governance of sensitive sectors such as security.