Why do Palestinians vote for Hamas

Hamas is gaining approval

Delighted with rising approval ratings: Hamas boss Hanije

Many Palestinians are dissatisfied with their leadership. If there were presidential elections, Hamas boss Hanije could win. The majority are also skeptical of the US efforts to establish a peace plan.

RAMALLAH / GAZA (inn) - More and more Palestinians prefer the radical Islamic Hamas to the Fatah party. This is the result of a current survey carried out by the “Palestinian Center for Political and Survey Research” in cooperation with the branch of the German Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Ramallah.

According to this, 49 percent of the Palestinians would vote for Hamas boss Ismail Hanije if presidential elections were to be held and the opposing candidate was Mahmud Abbas. The President of the Palestinian Authority (PA), who has not stood for an election since 2005, would get 42 percent of the vote. If only the West Bank were elected, however, Abbas would get a simple majority. There, Hanije was unable to increase his approval ratings compared to a survey three months ago.

If his party colleague Marwan Barghuti, who has been convicted of multiple murders, took the place of Abbas in the presidential election, Hamas leader Haniye would probably be defeated. If there were parliamentary elections in all Palestinian territories, Abbas's Fatah party would receive around 35 percent of the vote and Hamas would receive around 34 percent - an increase of seven percentage points compared to the previous poll.

Massive dissatisfaction with Abbas

Many Palestinians are dissatisfied with Abbas' policies: 64 percent want him to resign. Only one in seven of the Palestinians living in the West Bank assess their own current situation as positive. In the Gaza Strip, not even one in twenty does this. At the same time, 43 percent see responsibility for this with the PA and Abbas and only 21 percent with Hamas.

The rampant corruption in the PA, for example, is very much noticed. Abbas's blockade of the Gaza Strip also met with little approval. Almost four out of five Palestinians demand that the Palestinian Authority immediately cease all blockade measures.

Many are also dissatisfied with the PA's actions against Palestinians who sell land to Israeli Jews. 88 percent consider such Palestinians to be “traitors”. 64 percent think the death penalty would be an effective deterrent. However, only a few would express their criticism of the PA: 61 percent of the Palestinians living in the West Bank do not consider it possible to express their criticism of the PA without fear. Overall, one in two regards the Palestinian Authority as a “burden” for the Palestinian people.

One in three for armed struggle

Meanwhile, the decisions of the Palestinian Salvation Organization (PLO), according to which security cooperation with Israel should be abandoned and the recognition of the Jewish state temporarily revoked, are viewed positively. Qatar’s support services for the Gaza Strip are also largely received positively by the Palestinians. The aid from the emirate could have had a positive impact on the approval ratings of Hamas, as it was able to invest the money in salaries.

Meanwhile, a majority is skeptical of the idea of ​​a “two-state solution” to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: 63 percent consider this approach no longer practicable due to the Israeli settlement policy. Every third person prefers an “armed struggle against the Israeli occupation”.

At the same time, 61 percent want a long-term peace between Israel and Hamas. However, 62 percent believe the current ceasefire won't last long. Two out of three Palestinians are also pessimistic about the question of whether the reconciliation agreement between Hamas and Fatah could still be enforced.

Fear of Israelis

After all, 47 percent of those questioned support Palestinian-Israeli peace negotiations in principle. However, four out of five Palestinians are critical of the US government's efforts to find a peace plan. Even if President Donald Trump largely accommodated the Palestinians, one in two would be in favor of rejecting the proposal.

Many Palestinians are fundamentally critical of the Israeli side. 77 percent said they feared being injured by Israelis in their everyday life, having their land taken away or their houses destroyed. 59 percent believe that the long-term goal of the Jewish state is to expel the Palestinian population from the area between the Jordan and the Mediterranean.

1,270 people were surveyed between December 12 and 16. The margin of error is 3 percent.

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