Home Middle East Palestinian Youth Growing Disillusioned and Losing Hope in Political Process

Palestinian Youth Growing Disillusioned and Losing Hope in Political Process

Young Palestinians, never having experienced the opportunity to vote, express waning trust in Palestinian leadership.


Palestinian youths express disillusionment with the political process, questioning the viability of the “two-state solution” and the absence of clear borders. Seventeen-year-old Janna Tamimi, a young journalist from Nabi Salah, highlights the lack of elections and reports on Israeli raids and protests.

Since Janna’s birth, there has not been a single general or presidential election in the Palestinian territories. The last one took place in 2006, which means anyone under 34 years old has never had the opportunity to vote. This has led to a collapse of trust in the Palestinian political leadership and a downward spiral of support for the two-state solution.

The West Bank-based Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research has tracked the changing views of the population for over two decades and has shared data exclusively with the BBC on 18 to 29-year-olds. The findings demonstrate clear trends in this generation’s declining support for the governing Palestinian Authority (PA) and a consistent drop in support for a two-state solution over the last decade.

Dr Khalil Shikaki, the director of the research center, explains that the discontent among the youth is driven by the lack of legitimacy they see in the political system. The current president has been ruling without electoral legitimacy for 14 years, and the political system is largely authoritarian.

Support for armed confrontation is highest among under 30-year-olds, with over 56% supporting a return to an intifada, or uprising, against Israel. New militant groups have emerged, challenging the Palestinian Authority’s security forces and carrying out attacks in the West Bank.

One such group is the Jenin Brigades, which conducts training exercises in the Jenin refugee camp. These fighters, independent of major militant groups and political parties, feel that their generation is not represented by the current leadership.

Mujahed, a member of the Jenin Brigades, expresses that the youth of Palestine have lost hope in the political methods of the past 30 years. He believes that force is the only language understood by the occupation, referring to Israeli forces’ actions in Palestinian territories.

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