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Poll finds ‘significant increase in Hamas’ popularity’ in West Bank, Gaza

Chairman of the political bureau of the Hamas Palestinian Islamist movement, Ismail Haniyeh speaks during the funeral of Palestinian teenagers Louay Kahil and Amir Al-Namara, who were killed in an Israeli air strike at a mosque during their funeral in Gaza City on 15 July, 2018 [Ashraf Amra/Apaimages]
Chairman of the political bureau of the Hamas movement, Ismail Haniyeh, in Gaza City on 15 July 2018 [Ashraf Amra/Apaimages]

The latest poll conducted by the Palestinian Centre for Policy and Survey Research (PSR) has shown a “significant increase in Hamas’ popularity in both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip”.

PSR attributed the change to both “the violent confrontations in both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip”, as well as “Hamas’ success in insuring Gazan access to fuel and money to pay the salaries of its former government employees”.

Meanwhile, support for President Mahmoud Abbas declined in both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip; 64 per cent of the public want Abbas to resign – up from 62 per cent three months ago. The level of satisfaction with the performance of Abbas stands at 32 per cent, down from 35 per cent.

If new presidential elections were held today, the latest poll shows Hamas’ leader Ismail Haniyeh beating Abbas (49 per cent versus 42 per cent respectively), while if the contest was between Marwan Barghouti and Haniyeh, Barghouti would get 55 per cent and Haniyeh 40 per cent.

READ: Hamas reiterates commitment to national reconciliation

In parliamentary elections, meanwhile, 35 per cent said they would vote for Fatah, 34 per cent said they would vote for Hamas, and ten per cent would vote for all other parties combined.

Meanwhile, a majority of the public (53 per cent) views the Palestinian Authority (PA) as a burden on the Palestinian people while 42 per cent view it as an asset for the Palestinian people.

The PSR poll also asked respondents to identify the party or side responsible for the worsening conditions in the Gaza Strip, with the largest percentage (43 per cent) blaming the PA, Abbas, and the reconciliation government, 21 per cent blaming Hamas, and nine per cent blaming Egypt.

READ: While Israel kills, the US condemns Hamas

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