Hamas gains popularity among Palestinians

Palestine’s Gaza-based Hamas movement gains in popularity in Gaza and West Bank since last year’s war

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Hamas, Gaza-based Palestinian resistance group, has gained popularity among Palestinians in both Gaza and West Bank since last year’s 51-day ‘’Operation Protective Edge’’ launched by Israel in the isolated Gaza Strip, a news poll shows.

According the the poll results carried out by the Palestinian Centre for Policy and Survey (PCPSR) in the besieged Gaza Strip, 39 percent of people said they would vote for Hamas if a parliamentary election were to be held, up from 32 percent a year ago.

In the occupied territory West Bank, ruled by the Fatah party, this number has risen from 27 to 32 percent three months ago.

In the West Bank, Fatah’s popularity decreased from 41 to 36 percent in March.

However, 63 percent of people in Gaza and the West Bank were unhappy with the developments of the last war, because of the human and material losses that Gaza suffered, shows the poll results.

In July and August 2014, Israel launched the 51-day “Operation Protective Edge” in Gaza Strip and killed more than 2,100 people, mostly women and children and injured another 11,000. On the Israeli side, 67 soldiers and six civilians were killed.

Khalil Shikaki, pollster of the PCPSR, reported 50 percent of the people in the besieged Gaza Strip consider emigration, and this rate is the highest number that has been recorded so far.

He added that people of Gaza are much more frustrated compared to the past year during a teleconference in the West Bank, according to results of the June 4-6 survey.

The poll also showed the popularity levels of the Palestinian leaders among the people of Gaza and the West Bank.

Mahmoud Abbas, the successor of the late president Yasser Arafat in 2004, had a slightly higher popularity over Gaza’s Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, Shikaki said.

His performance rating had decreased from 50 percent to 44 percent at the outset of last year’s Fatah-Hamas unity deal, which has still not yet been fully carried out on the ground.

TRTWorld and agencies