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Poll Shows Rising Support For Hamas By Palestinians

Palestinians, Hamas, armed struggle, poll
Palestinians walk among the rubble of damaged buildings, which were destroyed during Israel's military offensive, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, in Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip. REUTERS/Mahmoud Issa

A recent poll among Palestinians has shown support for armed struggle and Hamas as the best means to end Israeli occupation and achieve statehood. Support has risen among Palestinians for Hamas over the last three months.

The Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR) carried out the poll. It showed support for armed struggle climbed by 8 percentage points to 54% of those surveyed in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Support for Hamas rose by 6 percentage points to 40%. Fatah, led by President Mahmoud Abbas, had 20% backing.

The polling was carried out some eight months since the start of the Gaza war.

It found that two-thirds thought the Oct. 7 attack was a correct decision. This was a 4 percentage point drop from the previous poll. The decrease came from Gaza, where 57% of respondents said the decision was correct, down from 71% in March.

It showed about 80% of Palestinians in Gaza had lost a relative or had a relative injured in the war.

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Walid Ladadweh who is the head of the Survey Research Unit at PSR said that the increase in support for Hamas was a reaction to Israel’s destruction and killing in Gaza.

He also said the poll reflected dissatisfaction with the Palestinian Authority led by Abbas. Abbas has long sought to negotiate the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel and rejects armed struggle.

The peace process has been moribund for years. Palestinians had hoped the process would yield a state in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank with East Jerusalem as its capital. These were territories seized by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war. Instead, Israel has expanded settlements in the West Bank and opposes Palestinian statehood.

With inputs from Reuters