After Gaza war, poll finds support for Hamas rises

Jerusalem - The popularity of the Hamas militant group among Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip has spiked significantly following the 50-day war with Israel, according to an opinion poll released on Tuesday.

The poll, conducted by the Palestinian Centre for Policy and Survey Research and headed by leading Palestinian pollster Khalil Shikaki, indicates that 61% of Palestinians would choose the Islamic militant group's leader, Ismail Haniyeh, for president if Palestinian presidential elections were held today.

Only 32% would vote for current President Mahmoud Abbas, Hamas's rival, the survey suggested.

The support for Haniyeh marks a stark increase from a poll in June, conducted by the same pollster, which found only 41% of Palestinians backed the Hamas figure. At the time, Abbas had 53% support.

Armed approach

The poll also suggests a majority of Palestinians - 72% - support adopting Hamas's armed approach in the West Bank.

The research centre said it is the first time in eight years that a majority of Palestinians has voiced such support for the Hamas leader. But, it said, Hamas's popularity might fall in coming months, as it did following previous Israel-Hamas conflicts.

Polling started on the last day of the war, on 26 August, and continued during the first four days of the cease-fire, the research centre said.

The poll said 79% of respondents believe Hamas won the war, and 86% support the renewal of rocket fire on Israel if a blockade on Gaza is not lifted, one of Hamas's main demands.

But 25% said armed groups in the Gaza Strip should give up their weapons after the blockade ends and elections are held.

The latest poll, and the poll in June, both surveyed 1 270 Palestinians and had a margin of error of 3%.

Pamela Mika 2014/09/02 02:54:57 PM
Spellcheck_You're welcome 2014/09/02 02:55:57 PM
So in a short summary, majority of the Palestinian people back a Hamas led attempted genocide. Dont argue, read the Hamas charter.
Juanita Golgaves 2014/09/02 02:59:37 PM
Well, who else would they support ! Israel, ISIS ??
Kobus Hattingh 2014/09/02 03:15:35 PM
"The poll, conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research" No surprises with their findings then LOL
Nceba Mbane 2014/09/02 03:22:09 PM
Surely guys, after the systematic massacre of Palestines, under whatever guise or with whichever explanations or rationalisations, you didnt possibly expect to wake up with Netananyu the most popular guy amongst Palestininians, did you?
James Uknow 2014/09/02 03:26:44 PM
Israel never asked for HAMAS disarming for a cease fire to occur ,they know by asking what wont be given they can continue with stealing land and killing and blaming it on HAMAS ,yes I wish Paslestinians had other group standing up for them ,but if negotiations hasnt worked for over twenty years and during this time your land gets smaller ,can see why they would support HAMAS even though their methods and ideology are scary ,Israel is the occupying force ,they have created an apartheid state ,since the occupation christian palestinians have been leaving the west bank due to suffering under Israel ,these zionist believe in the talmud which sees christians and others as less than animals ,recently Israelie ministers started tearing up New Testament bibles and calling on the public to do the same
MeThinks 2014/09/02 03:58:05 PM
Hopefully the next elections are still very far! Imagine Hamas in power....scary thought
Joshua Schewitz 2014/09/02 04:14:27 PM
It's a sad state of affairs as Hamas leads Palestinians to death. At least Abbas is trying to make peace. Peace is remote but possibly with Abbas but with Hamas the only result is war death and destruction.
Andrew Salies 2014/09/02 05:01:12 PM
Allah (eina) my tand pyn.
Lisch Manyashi 2014/09/02 06:54:12 PM
Then the people of Gaza are idiots. They support terrorism and war. No pity for them at all