Support for Hamas rising among Palestinians amid Israeli war crimes: Poll
A wartime opinion poll among Palestinians shows a rise in support for the resistance movement Hamas, which appears to have ticked up even in the Israeli-bombarded Gaza Strip.
The survey also shows an overwhelming rejection of Western-backed President Mahmoud Abbas, with nearly 90% saying he must resign.
The survey was conducted from Nov. 22 to Dec. 2 among 1,231 people in the occupied West Bank and Gaza and had an error margin of 4 percentage points.
In Gaza, poll workers conducted 481 in-person interviews during a weeklong cease-fire that ended on December 1.
The survey provided insights into Palestinian views of the Oct. 7 al-Aqsa Storm Operation by Hamas and other Gaza resistance groups in Israel.
Despite the devastation, 57% of respondents in Gaza and 82% in the West Bank believe Hamas was correct in launching the October operation, the poll indicated. A large majority believed Hamas' claims that it acted to defend the al-Aqsa Mosque compound against extremist Israeli settlers and win the release of Palestinian prisoners.
The findings by a Palestinian pollster signal more difficulties ahead for the US President Joe Biden administration's postwar vision for Gaza and raise questions about Israel's stated goal of ending Hamas' military and governing capabilities.
“Israel might have hoped that the war and its hardships would turn Palestinians against Hamas, hastening its demise, but as with previous rounds of violence, it seems to be having the opposite effect,” The Associated Press said in a report.
The poll meanwhile showed overwhelming rejection of Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, with nearly 90% saying he must resign. The 88-year-old leader's administration, which governs parts of the Israeli-occupied West Bank, is widely seen by Palestinians as a corrupt and autocratic accomplice to the occupation because it works with Israel to suppress Hamas and other militant groups.
Washington has called for the PA to eventually assume control of Gaza and run both territories.
The PA administers pockets of the Israeli-occupied West Bank and has governed Gaza until a takeover by Hamas in 2007. The Palestinians have not held elections since 2006 when Hamas won a parliamentary majority.
The United States and its Western allies have said they were still not drawing any red lines for Israel, which has killed more than 18,600 people during a yet-ongoing war against the Gaza Strip.