Photo by Majdi Fathi/TPS on 20 March, 2024

Palestinian Support for Hamas and War Remains High: Survey

Public By Pesach Benson • 21 March, 2024

Jerusalem, 21 March, 2024 (TPS) -- A survey of Palestinians living in Gaza and the Palestinian Authority released on Wednesday found popular support for Hamas remains high despite the war.

The poll, conducted by the Ramallah-based Palestinian Center for Policy and and Survey Research found that 71% of Palestinians surveyed viewed Hamas’s October 7 attack on Israel as correct. This perception was identical between Palestinians living in the PA and Gaza.

The survey also found that Palestinian satisfaction with Hamas remains stable at 70% (75% in the PA and 62% in Gaza) and with Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar at 61% (68% in the PA and 52% in Gaza). Satisfaction with Fatah was much lower at 27% (24% in the PA and 32% in Gaza) and with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at 14% (8% in the PA and 22% in Gaza).

Compared to a December survey, support for Hamas rose in Gaza by 10% but dropped 10% in the Palestinian Authority.

When asked who should be in control of Gaza after the war, 59% preferred Hamas (64% in the PA and 52% in Gaza). Thirteen percent selected the Palestinian Authority without Abbas, while 11% chose the PA with Abbas. In addition, 3% selected one or more Arab countries, 1% chose the UN and 1% preferred the Israeli military.

The survey also asked Palestinians about the idea of US and moderate Arab states developing a plan to strengthen PA institutions, restore peace negotiations for a two-state solution and bring about normalized relations between Israel and the Arab world. This vision was opposed by 73%.

Mahmoud Abbas’s approval ratings remained dismally low, with 81% dissatisfied with his leadership and 84% saying they want him to resign.

Palestinians have not held national elections since 2005 and Abbas is now in the 19th year of what was supposed to be a four-year term. Since then, Abbas has cancelled several attempted elections amid Fatah-Hamas disagreements, most recently in 2021.

When asked to select the person they prefer to see as succeed Abbas as president, 40% preferred imprisoned terrorist Marwan Barghouti, 19% selected Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, and 10% chose Hamas’s Gaza leader Yahya Sinwar and 18% said they did not know. The remaining respondents preferred PA Minister of Civil Affairs Hussein al-Sheikh; Fatah’s former Gaza strong man now living in exile, Mohammed Dahlan; senior Hamas figure Khaled Mashaal, and former PA Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh.

At least 1,200 people were killed and 240 Israelis and foreigners were taken hostage in Hamas’s attacks on Israeli communities near the Gaza border on October 7. Of the remaining 134 hostages, Israel recently declared 31 of them dead.

The PCPSR questioned 1,580 adults, of whom 830 were interviewed face to face in the Palestinian Authority and 750 in the Gaza Strip.