Large percentage of Palestinians support Hamas, oppose Abbas - poll

There was an 8% decrease in support for Hamas from a survey conducted 3 months ago and a 5% decrease in support for Abbas.

HAMAS SUPPORTERS attend an anti-Israel rally in the northern Gaza Strip on Sunday. (photo credit: MOHAMMED SALEM/REUTERS)
HAMAS SUPPORTERS attend an anti-Israel rally in the northern Gaza Strip on Sunday.
(photo credit: MOHAMMED SALEM/REUTERS)

A poll conducted by the Ramallah-based Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research this month revealed public opinions in the West Bank and Gaza on various issues such as the Hamas-Israel war in May, presidential and legislative elections, responses to the coronavirus pandemic, and the Gilboa prison break.

A significant finding was that 45% believe Hamas is deserving of leading and representing the Palestinian people, and only 19% think the same about Fatah.

The sample size was 1,270 adults in 27 locations and the poll was conducted between 15-18 September.

POLITICS

For the support of Hamas, this is an 8% decrease from a survey conducted three months ago, where the results were 53% in favor of Hamas and 14% (5% higher) for Fatah.

If there was to be an election between Mahmoud Abbas and Ismail Haniyeh, only 51% indicated they would participate. Of this 51%, 56% supported Haniyeh, while 34% supported Abbas.

Some 73% indicated support for potential presidential and legislative elections in the PA, although 56% do not believe any elections will take place soon.

On public perception of the PA, 59% view the government as a burden on the Palestinian people and 34% view it as an asset. Some 83% believe there is corruption in PA institutions; 61% indicated corruption in Gaza Strip institutions controlled by Hamas.

HAMAS-ISRAEL WAR

The majority (71%) believe Hamas won the war, 21% reported nobody won, 3% say Israel and another 3% believe both sides won.

An explosion is seen near a tower housing AP, Al Jazeera offices during Israeli missile strikes in Gaza city, May 15, 2021. (credit: ASHRAF ABU AMRAH / REUTERS)An explosion is seen near a tower housing AP, Al Jazeera offices during Israeli missile strikes in Gaza city, May 15, 2021. (credit: ASHRAF ABU AMRAH / REUTERS)

Of the survey takers, 67% say Hamas launching rockets at Israel was in defense of Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque, 10% say it was a protest against cancelation of PA elections, and 19% reported that both were reasons for why the rockets were fired.

Additionally, 60% say the response to expulsion of residents of Sheikh Jarrah or restrictions to the Al-Aqsa mosque would result in more rockets into Israel.

CORONAVIRUS

Over half (53%) of those surveyed reported being satisfied with the PA's efforts to contain COVID-19 while 45% reported dissatisfaction.

Some 63% of respondents support mandatory vaccinations against the coronavirus, and 35% are opposed to it. 

Of the participants, 48% say they have already received their vaccinations, over a quarter (27%) say they will take it when it becomes available, and 24% say they are unwilling to get the jab.

ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN CONFLICT

On the viability of a two-state solution, 63% responded that it is no longer practical or feasible due to Israeli settlement expansion, and 32% said it remains practical. However, 62% oppose a two-state solution, and 36% support it.

The majority (58%) oppose negotiations under US President Joe Biden's new government.

Finally, in answer to how to handle the conflict, the highest number of participants - 39% - replied they prefer the solution to the conflict be an armed struggle against Israeli occupation, while 28% wish for a peace agreement, 10% prefer non-violent resistance, and 18% wish to keep the status quo as is.