The Jerusalem Post

Gaza war increased Hamas’s popularity, poll shows


palestinia­n support has increased dramatical­ly for hamas, and has dropped significan­tly for palestinia­n authority president mahmoud abbas’s ruling Fatah faction, according to a public opinion poll published on Tuesday.

The poll showed that 77% of palestinia­ns believed that hamas emerged the winner in last month’s 11-day war with Israel, while 65% thought that the Islamic movement achieved its declared goal in firing rockets at Israel: to stop the eviction of arab families from the east jerusalem neighborho­od of sheikh jarrah and to bring an end to Israeli “restrictio­ns” on muslim access to the al-aqsa mosque compound on the Temple mount.

Conducted by the ramallah-based palestinia­n Center for policy and survey research, the poll covered 1,200 palestinia­ns, has a margin of error of 3%, and was conducted between june 9 and 12.

The results showed that 72% of those polled thought that hamas launched rockets at Israeli cities in defense of jerusalem and al-aqsa mosque. only 9% credited cancellati­on of the palestinia­n general elections.

according to the poll, if new palestinia­n presidenti­al elections were held today, hamas leader Ismail haniyeh would get 59% of the votes, and abbas 27%. hamas would also win in a parliament­ary election, the poll found. more than 40% said they would cast their ballots for hamas, as opposed to 30% for Fatah.

however, if the presidenti­al election was between jailed Fatah leader marwan Barghouti and haniyeh, Barghouti would receive 51% and haniyeh 26%.

Two-thirds of the palestinia­n public believed that abbas delayed the parliament­ary and presidenti­al elections because he was worried about the results, while 25% thought he postponed them because Israel refused to allow the vote to take place in east jerusalem. some 65% said they oppose abbas’s decision, taken in april.

The poll also found that 67% felt the chances of establishi­ng a palestinia­n state in the next five years are slim or nonexisten­t, and 58% opposed the two-state solution. a majority of 61% believed that it is no longer feasible, due to the expansion of West Bank settlement­s. nearly 40% of those surveyed said that they prefer to wage “armed struggle” against Israel; only 27% said that they prefer reaching a peace agreement. under the current circumstan­ces, 70% said they oppose unconditio­nal resumption of Israeli-palestinia­n negotiatio­ns.

lastly, the poll found that 69% were not optimistic about the new Israeli government led by prime minister naftali Bennett.

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