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September 2, 2014 10:15 am

Following Gaza War, Palestinian Support for Hamas, Armed Confrontation at All-Time High

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avatar by Dave Bender

Hamas Leader Ismail Haniyeh with Palestinian children.

After Israel’s Operation Protective Edge in Gaza, Palestinian support within the coastal enclave and the West Bank for Hamas’ leadership is at an eight-year high, Israel’s NRG News reported Tuesday, noting a new poll.

According to the results, “if presidential elections were to take place today, Ismail Haniyeh would easily win over Abbas and Hamas would win the largest percentage of the popular vote in parliamentary elections.”

The survey, conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Research, says that 61 percent of Palestinians would vote for Hamas leader Haniyeh and over 32 percent for rival Palestinian Authority Chairman, Mahmoud Abbas.

The survey, taken between August 26th to 30th, sampled 1,270 adults in face-to-face interviews, held in 127 randomly selected locations, and had a 3 percent margin of error, according to the pollsters.

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In addition to supporting Hamas rule in the West Bank, “the overwhelming majority of the [Palestinian] public views Hamas as the winner and Israel as the loser in this war. Furthermore, a similar majority views Hamas’ approach of armed confrontation with Israel as the most effective means of ending Israeli occupation,” according to the poll.

“Abbas received 43% [support] in the Gaza Strip and 25% in the West Bank. Two months ago, Abbas received the support of 53% in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and Haniyeh 41%. The rate of participation in such elections would reach 71%.”

The level of satisfaction with Abbas’ performance dropped from 50% two months ago to 39%, according to the poll.

Iran, Turkey, and Qatar were thought “the most instrumental in supporting Hamas and helping Gazans remain steadfast against the Israeli attacks,” as opposed to Egypt, which was seen as “weak and unhelpful,” and, in fact, “a majority believes that Egypt played a negative role in the ceasefire negotiations.”

Some more of the results, by the numbers:

  • 79% believe that Hamas has won the Gaza War; 3% believe Israel came out the winner; and 17% believe the two sides were losers.
  • 79% believe Israel was responsible for the eruption of the Gaza war; 5% believe Hamas was responsible; and 12% believe the responsibility lies with the two sides.
  • 63% believe that the ceasefire agreement satisfies Palestinian interests, but 34% disagree with that. Moreover, 59% are satisfied with the accomplishment gained in the agreement compared to the human and material losses sustained by the Gaza Strip; 39% are dissatisfied with the accomplishment.
  • An overwhelming majority of 86% support the launching of rockets from the Gaza Strip at Israel if the siege and blockade are not ended.
  • 60% say that Hamas does not launch rockets from populated areas, but 30% say it does. 49% think it is justified for Hamas to launch rockets from populated areas and 46% disagree with that.  The percentage of those who believe that launching rockets from populated areas is unjustified increases to 59% among Gazans while standing at 38% among West Bankers.

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