West Bank/Gaza poll: Poll reveals support for Hamas

It found that 95 per cent of respondents believed Israel had committed war crimes in the current war, 17 per cent believed Hamas had done so

A Palestinian opinion poll carried out during the brief ceasefire in the Gaza war reveals a surge in support for Hamas in the beleaguered West Bank and devastated Gaza.

In the survey72 per cent of respondents backed the Hamas-led attack of October 7th in which 1,200 people were killed, according to Israel, and some 240 taken hostage. Support for the attack was higher among Palestinians in the West Bank, at 82 per cent, than in Gaza (57 per cent).

The survey, carried out by the Ramallah-based Palestinian Centre for Policy and Survey Research, found that 95 per cent of respondents believed Israel had committed war crimes in the current war. whereas only 17 per cent believed Hamas had done so.

Most respondents believed the Hamas-led attack of October 7th was in response to “‘settler attacks on Al-Aqsa Mosque and West Bank residents and for the release of Palestinian prisoners”, the pollster said, but it noted that Gazans showed “a greater degree of scepticism” over this claim than those living in the West Bank.


About 44 per cent of West Bank residents support Hamas, the survey found, an increase from 12 per cent in September, while 42 per cent of Gazans (up from 38 per cent) expressed support for the militant group, which runs Gaza. Some 60 per cent in Gaza expressed support for the armed struggle against Israel, as did 70 per cent in the West Bank, where 490 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli soldiers and settlers since the Gaza war began. Most respondents believe Israel’s war aim is to “destroy the Gaza Strip and kill or expel its population”.

Some 70 per cent of those surveyed think Israel will not eliminate Hamas, while 21 per cent believe Israel’s offensive will weaken the militant group. After the war, Hamas is expected to remain in charge in Gaza by 80 per cent in the West Bank and 61 per cent in Gaza. Only a minority in both territories expressed support for the deployment of Jordanian or Egyptian forces to provide security for the return of the PA to Gaza , a plan favoured by the United States and Europe but not the Arabs or Israel.

Nearly 90 per cent of respondents said Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas should resign and 60 per cent said the Palestinian authority should be disbanded. The most popular Palestinian political figure remains Marwan Barghout of Fatah, who is imprisoned in Israel and would, the survey indicates, defeat Hamas’shead Ismail Haniyeh or any other candidate in an election.

While Palestinians do not take seriously Western promises to revive the two-state solution, which would give them an independent state, 34 per cent support the idea and 64 per cent oppose, the poll shows.

The survey was conducted from November 22nd-December 1st and involved personal interviews with 1,231 Palestinians: 750 West Bankers and 481 Gazans.

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Michael Jansen

Michael Jansen

Michael Jansen contributes news from and analysis of the Middle East to The Irish Times