Poll: Lack of confidence in peace process keeps Hamas's popularity stable

A lack of confidence in recently renewed peacemaking between Israel and the Palestinians has kept Palestinian support for Hamas stable despite worsening conditions in the Gaza Strip, according to a poll released Monday. However, the group's popularity lags far behind that of Fatah, said the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, an independent polling agency. If new legislative elections were to be held today, Hamas would receive 31 percent of the vote, while Fatah would capture 49% - unchanged from a September poll. "The stabilization of Hamas's popularity reflects an almost total lack of confidence in the peace process unleashed by (the) Annapolis meeting," the pollsters said.