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The Fatah movement of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is tied with Hamas in voter support, according to a poll published Tuesday, undercutting hopes by Palestinian moderates that Fatah could oust Hamas if new elections were held.
As one of several options, Abbas is considering calling early elections; both for president and parliament, but Tuesday's poll and other recent surveys indicate there is no guarantee voters would return Fatah to power.
The poll among 1,200 Palestinians also indicated that Palestinians consider Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas more trustworthy than Abbas, by 19 percent to 14.5%.
The survey was conducted by the Jerusalem Media and Communications Center between Sept. 19 and 22, before a new round of deadly internal violence erupted this weekend. At the time of the survey, Hamas and Fatah were negotiating the formation of a national unity government, but the talks have since broken down.
In the survey, 56% said a national unity government was the best way out of the current crisis. If an election were held today, Fatah would get 32% of the vote, compared to 30.5% for Hamas.
The poll has an error margin of 3% points.
More than half said they oppose attacks on Israel and 46.6% said they support a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.