Ratio of Palestinians who believe rockets fired by Gaza militants are useful in achieving Palestinian national goals has dropped by half, a Palestinian poll showed on Sunday, noting a general drop in Palestinian support for military attacks on Israel of any kind.
The study conducted by the Ramallah-based Jerusalem Media & Communication Center (JMCC) surveyed support for what it called "military operations" against Israel, and compares it the amount of support measured in a similar study conducted in January of 2009.
The timing of the earlier sample is significant as it came in the wake of Israel's war against Hamas in Gaza, otherwise known as Operation Cast Lead, after which Israel was severely criticized for its alleged use of excessive force within the populated Strip.
According to the poll released by the JMCC on Sunday, since the Gaza war the ratio of Palestinians who opposed "military operations" against Israel rose from 38.1% in January of 2009 to 51.8% in April of 2011.
Accordingly, the poll states, "the ratio of Palestinians who support military operations decreased from 53.3% in January 2009 to 37.1% in April 2011."
The poll also refers specifically to Palestinian support of rockets and mortar bombs launched from the Gaza Strip against surrounding Israeli communities, stating that the ratio of Palestinians who believe they are useful in achieving the national goals went down from 50.8% in January 2009 to 25.4% in April of 2011.
In addition, the survey also showed that "the ratio of Palestinians who believe that these rockets harm the national interests went up from 20.8% in January 2009 to 38.6% this month."
In reference to Palestinian support of bombing or suicide bombing attacks against Israel, the JMCC poll indicated that support for such actions decreased from 55.4% in January 2009 to 37.3% this April.
An interesting discrepancy was also noted in Palestinain public opinion on these matters between the West Bank and Gaza, with "45.5% in Gaza supported military operations against Israeli targets compared with 32.0% in the West Bank."
"A ratio of 57.3% of the respondents in Gaza Strip supported bombing operations against Israeli civilian targets compared with 25.3% in the West Bank," the survey added.
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