88% of Palestinians support violent struggle, a new poll reveals

By Sandy Rashty, December 19, 2012
A Hamas rally in the West Bank (Photo: Flash90)

A Hamas rally in the West Bank (Photo: Flash90)

The majority of Palestinians from Gaza and the West Bank believe that armed struggle is the best method of achieving Palestinian independence, according to a new poll by the Arab World Research and Development centre in Ramallah.

In the wake of the latest Israel-Gaza conflict, nearly 90 per cent of 1200 participants in the poll believed armed struggle, and not peaceful talks, would lead to Palestinian independence.

Only 43 per cent of West Bank participants supported resuming immediate negotiations with Israel.

The poll also showed that support for Hamas, a terrorist organisation that vowed to “open the gates of hell” on Israel, was rising in the region.

Forty-two per cent of West Bank residents and 37 per cent of Gaza residents said they preferred the approach of Hamas over standing Palestinian and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas, who supports negotiations with Israel.

Professor Hillel Frisch, an expert on Palestinian and Islamic politics at Bar Ilan University, told The Times of Israel that Palestinians were “frustrated” and may be aligning with Hamas “because it’s the movement that opposes negotiations with Israel.”

The poll followed the successful United Nations bid which led to Palestine being declared a non-member state.

Last updated: 3:25pm, December 19 2012