Poll: Fatah loses support among Palestinians

Despite international political and financial support, the popularity of the Fatah faction headed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has declined over the past month, partially because of mistrust in the group's leaders, according to a poll published Friday. Fatah still commands a strong lead over Hamas that controls Gaza, with 39 percent of Palestinians trusting it, as opposed to 16 percent backing for Hamas. But in November, 46 percent of those surveyed for a similar poll favored Fatah, and 13 percent backed Hamas. Forty-one percent of those polled said they didn't trust either faction, up from 32 percent in November. The telephone poll, conducted in late December by Near East Consulting, interviewed 959 Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. It had a margin of error of 3.2 percentage points.