Hizbullah inspires 63% of Palestinians

Poll shows terror group's tactics provide "attractive model" for resistance.

September 26, 2006 18:32
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The tactics employed by Hizbullah against Israel provide an "attractive model" for Palestinians' armed resistance, according to a poll of Israeli and Palestinian public opinion conducted by the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in Ramallah. According to the poll, which was conducted last week, nearly two-thirds of Palestinians (63%) agree that Palestinians should emulate Hizbullah by firing rockets at Israeli cities, compared to 35% who disagreed. Similar levels of support for copying Hizbullah's methods were reported in July 2000, following Israel's evacuation of Southern Lebanon (65% of the Palestinians supported it then, with 27% where opposed). The latest poll also showed that a majority of Palestinians (57%) supports attacks against Israeli civilians inside the Green Line. Another 75% of Palestinians support the kidnapping of IDF soldiers to be exchanged for Palestinian prisoners held by Israel. Despite these militant views in the aftermath of the war in Lebanon, 77% of Palestinians support a cease-fire with Israel and 74% believe that Palestinians cannot rely solely on armed struggle and must reach a political settlement with Israel. Among Israelis polled, 67% support negotiations with a Palestinian Authority unity government that includes Hamas. Even with a Hamas government that does not include Fatah, 56% of Israelis support and 43% oppose such talks. Face-to-face interviews were conducted with 1,270 Palestinian adults in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and telephone interviews were conducted with representative samples of 500 Israeli Jews and 401 Israeli Arabs. The margin of error is 3%.

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