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Poll: Hamas loses popularity among Palestinians
By KHALED ABU TOAMEH
04/10/2013
Support for firing rockets from Gaza into Israel has dropped sharply, from 74% in December 2012, to 38% now, survey conducted by Jerusalem Media and Communications Center shows; 80% back non-violent "resistance" against Israel.
 
Yet another public opinion poll reveals that Hamas is continuing to lose popularity among Palestinians.

The survey, published on Wednesday by the Jerusalem Media and Communications Center, also indicated drops in Palestinian support for both the Oslo Accords and for violence.

Another poll, published last week by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey in Ramallah, also reflected a decline in Palestinians’ support for Hamas.

Wednesday’s poll, which was based on a sample of 1,179 people over the age of 18 and has a 3 percentage point margin of error, found that more than 80 percent of Palestinians support nonviolent means of “resistance” against Israel.

About 60% said that military operations harm Palestinian national interests.

The proportion of Palestinians who support military operations against Israel dropped from 50% in December 2012 to 31% in this poll.

Moreover, support for firing rockets from the Gaza Strip at Israel has dropped sharply; while 74% indicated their approval in December 2012, the current figure stands at 38%, the poll showed.

In terms of overall support, Hamas’s popularity dropped from 28% in December 2012 to 20% in this poll.

Similarly, the survey found that fewer Palestinians support the Oslo Accords. While a poll in 1997 indicated that 68% of Palestinians supported the Oslo Accords, this latest survey indicated that only 43% favor the agreements.

The poll also found that 33% of Palestinians believe that the Oslo Accords have harmed their interests; another 34% consider them to have made no difference.

More than 55% of those surveyed expressed strong criticism of the Palestinian Authority’s security coordination with Israel.

The overwhelming majority of Palestinians (90%) believe that Hamas and Fatah should pursue national reconciliation, even if this results in the US and Israel imposing sanctions on the Palestinians.

Also, a majority of Palestinians (59%) says both Hamas and Fatah are acting in their own interests instead of national interests.

Twenty-eight percent blamed Hamas for the ongoing divisions among Palestinians, as opposed to 19% who held Fatah responsible.
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