In the aftermath of the Gaza War: Hamas’ way is preferred by the majority over Abbas’ way as the most effective in ending occupation and building a Palestinian state and Haniyeh defeats Abbas in a presidential election

In the aftermath of the Gaza War: Hamas’ way is preferred by the majority over Abbas’ way as the most effective in ending occupation and building a Palestinian state and Haniyeh defeats Abbas in a presidential election 
13-15 December 2012 
These are the results of the latest poll conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR) in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip between 13-15 December 2012. Two major developments preceded the conduct of the poll: (1) the Gaza war between Hamas and Israel followed by a ceasefire, a visit by Khalid Mish’al to the Gaza Strip, and Hamas’ celebration of victory in the war on the occasion of the movement’s launch, (2) the submission of a Palestinian request for the upgrading of the status of Palestine to a non-member state at the UN, the vote at the General Assembly on the request with 138 countries voting in favor, and the return of president Mahmoud Abbas to the West Bank amid public celebrations in support of his UN bid. This press release covers public evaluation of the general West Bank and Gaza conditions, elections, reconciliation, public evaluation of the performance of the governments of Salam Fayyad and Ismail Haniyeh, the internal balance of power between Fateh and Hamas, views of the public on the most vital Palestinian goals and the main problems Palestinians confront today, the Gaza war, the UN vote, and others. Total size of the sample is 1270 adults interviewed face to face in 127 randomly selected locations. Margin of error is 3%. 


For further details, contact PSR director, Dr. Khalil Shikaki, or Walid Ladadweh at tel 02-296 4933 or email pcpsr@pcpsr.org.

Main Findings:

The events of the past several weeks have given Hamas a significant boost similar to the one it enjoyed in the aftermath of the breaching of the Rafah border with Egypt in early 2008. The fourth quarter of 2012 shows a dramatic change in public attitude favoring Hamas. Haniyeh’s popularity increases significantly allowing him to defeat Abbas if new presidential elections are held today. A parliamentary election, if held today, would give Hamas and Fateh an almost equal number of votes. Moreover, positive public evaluation of conditions in the Gaza Strip increases dramatically and the gap in public perception of conditions in the West Bank compared to conditions in the Gaza Strip widens in favor of the latter; this gap was first registered in our previous poll last September. Needless to say, the outcome of the latest Gaza war between Hamas and Israel is responsible for this change.

Findings are also somewhat positive for Abbas. Evaluation of conditions in the West Bank is more positive today than it was three months ago. Similarly, positive evaluation of Abbas’ performance increases in this poll. These results might have been generated by the outcome of the diplomatic warfare at the UN between the PA and Israel. The cessation of demonstrations and internal confrontations that erupted in the West Bank more than three months ago in protest against price rises and the deteriorating economic conditions might have also contributed to the general public perception of improvement in the general conditions in the West Bank. Finally, findings show a dramatic increase in the level of optimism regarding the chances for reconciliation and the reunification of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip compared to the situation not only three months ago but most importantly since the separation in June 2007.

But most significantly the poll shows that Hamas’s way, as represented by the Gaza war and its outcome, receives the support and confidence of the majority of the public while Abbas’ way, represented by the UN bid and the international recognition of the Palestinian state, receives the support and confidence of a little over one quarter. In this regard, it is worth mentioning that the overwhelming majority of Palestinians believe that Hamas has come out victorious in its war with Israel. A majority also believe that conditions in the Gaza Strip will now improve while a majority believes that conditions in the West Bank will now become worse or stay as it was before the UN vote.Full Report 

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*This survey was conducted with the support of  Konrad Adenauer Stiftung in Ramallah.
 

Full Report PDF: