Palestinian Public Opinion Polls No. 21‎

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President Mahmoud Abbas announced the 26th of July the date for ‎conducting a referendum on the National Conciliation Document of the ‎Prisoners. By making this announcement, the President put an end to all ‎disputes concerning conducting the referendum. Abbas has made it clear ‎more than once that the referendum is a means and not an end in itself; if ‎the on-going debate among the Palestinian political factions reaches an ‎agreement on the National Conciliation Document of the prisoners, the ‎agreement will be an alternative to the referendum.‎ Following the President's move, the PLC members began studying the ‎legal implication of the referendum and Hamas hastened to refuse the ‎mere idea of conducting a referendum considering national debate as the ‎only way to settle differences among Palestinians. Further, Hamas ‎considered the referendum a way that by passes the last Legislative ‎Council elections. The Public Front made its reservations on the ‎referendum, but did not reject it. The political factions that support the ‎referendum point out that the Palestinian people are the only source of ‎power that determines the final say in disputed issues. They maintain ‎that the referendum does not evade the results of the elections, and that ‎the basic Palestinian law does not prohibit such procedure. ‎