Poll: Palestinian Support for Hamas Drops One Month After Gaza War

When conflict ended last month, Hamas held 15 percent lead over Abbas' Fatah, but that shrunk 3 percent, according to Ramallah-based pollster.

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A Palestinian woman shouts during a Hamas rally in memory of people who were killed during Israel's Gaza operation, in Gaza City, September 26, 2014.
A Palestinian woman shouts during a Hamas rally in memory of people who were killed during Israel's Gaza operation, in Gaza City, September 26, 2014.Credit: Reuters

Support among Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip for Hamas has dropped one month after the Gaza-Israel war, a survey published Monday showed.

Immediately after the conflict ended with an open truce on August 26, Hamas held a 15 per cent lead over the secular Fatah party of moderate President Mahmoud Abbas, said the Ramallah-based Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research.

That lead has shrunk to some 3 percent, according to the PSR poll.

Some 39 percent of those surveyed said they would vote for Hamas if parliamentary elections were held today, compared to 46 percent one month ago. In contrast, those who would vote in favor of Fatah has risen to 36 percent from 31 percent one month ago, the poll showed.

Before the Gaza war, Fatah led against Hamas in the poll, 40 to 32 percent.

If presidential elections were held today and the only two candidates were Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh and Fatah leader Abbas, Haniyeh would be favored by 55 percent of those surveyed, down from 61 percent one month ago. The survey showed that 38 percent would vote for Abbas, up from 32 percent last month.

Responding to rocket attacks by Palestinian militants, Israel bombarded the Gaza Strip for 50 days between July 7 and August 26, killing at least 2,100 Palestinians, mainly civilians, wounding over 11,000 and destroying thousands of homes. More than 70 Israelis were killed.

One month after the war, Israel's blockade of Gaza remains largely in place and Gaza's border crossings with it and with Egypt highly restricted. Talks on a long-term truce resumed in Cairo last week.

The belief that Hamas won the Gaza war dropped to 69 percent from 79 percent in the PSR poll conducted immediately after the war.

An overwhelming majority of those surveyed - 80 percent - supports launching rockets from the Gaza Strip at Israel if the blockade is not ended. The crippling blockade was first imposed in 2006 in response to such rocket attacks.

Opposition to disarming the Gaza Strip fell in the survey to 50 percent from 57 per cent a month ago. Opposition among Palestinians in the Gaza Strip alone dropped even further to 42 percent

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