update deskIsrael-Palestinian Conflict

Palestinian poll: Islamist terror groups best thing since 1948

A majority of respondents support "armed struggle" against Israel.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad supporters participate in a rally in the southern Gaza Strip to celebrate a deadly terrorist attack in Tel Aviv, April 8, 2022. Photo by Attia Muhammed/Flash90.
Hamas and Islamic Jihad supporters participate in a rally in the southern Gaza Strip to celebrate a deadly terrorist attack in Tel Aviv, April 8, 2022. Photo by Attia Muhammed/Flash90.

The formation of terrorist groups Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad was the most positive thing to happen to the Palestinian people since 1948, a plurality of Palestinians say.

According to a poll conducted by the Ramallah-based Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR), 24% of Palestinians in the “West Bank” and the Gaza Strip believe that the establishment of these Islamist organizations and their violence against Israel was the best thing to happen since the “Nakba”—the establishment of the modern State of Israel and the events leading up to it.

Broken down by location, 16% of West Bankers say that the creation of Hamas and Islamic Jihad was the best thing, while 38% of Gazans took this position.

In second place, 21% of respondents (24% in the West Bank and 16% in Gaza) said that the First and Second intifadas were the most positive thing for Palestinians since the nakba, Arabic for the “catastrophe” of the creation of modern-day Israel.

Just 9% of Palestinians said that the establishment of Fatah was the best thing to happen to them, while 80% of those polled said that they want Fatah and PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to resign as president of the Palestinian Authority.

A majority of 52% (55% in Gaza, 49% in the West Bank) chose “armed struggle” as the most effective means of ending the “Israeli occupation” and building an independent Palestinian state. That percentage was down by 2 points since the last survey. A total of 21% support negotiations while 22% chose “popular resistance.”

The poll surveyed 1,270 Palestinians face-to-face in 127 random locations between June 7 and 11 with a 3% margin of error. It was conducted after Israel celebrated its 75th year of independence.

Two-thirds (66%) of Palestinians surveyed do not believe that Israel will survive to celebrate its 100th anniversary. When asked if Palestinians will be able to “regain Palestine and repatriate the refugees,” a bare majority of 51% answered in the affirmative.

Support for a two-state solution stands at 28% while 70% of respondents oppose the idea.

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