Poll: Abbas's popularity has grown since Hamas takeover of Gaza

September 10, 2007 14:37

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's popularity has increased since his rivals from Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip, and the Palestinian leader would easily win a re-election if a vote were held today, according to a poll released Monday. The poll found that 73 percent of Palestinians oppose Hamas's Gaza takeover last June, when the group routed forces from Abbas' Fatah movement during five days of infighting. Abbas responded by expelling Hamas from a Palestinian unity government, and installing a new Cabinet in his West Bank stronghold. His new government has been embraced by Israel and the international community, while Hamas has plunged into deep international isolation. The poll was conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, an independent think tank based in Ramallah. The agency questioned 1,270 Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza and Jerusalem between Sept. 6-8, and the survey had a margin of error of 3 percentage points.

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