update deskIsrael at War

Nearly 15% of Arab Israelis want Hamas to govern Gaza

That percentage represents approximately 308,700 citizens.

Hamas gunmen, members of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, in Rafah, the southern Gaza Strip, Oct. 17, 2019. Photo by Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90.
Hamas gunmen, members of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, in Rafah, the southern Gaza Strip, Oct. 17, 2019. Photo by Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90.

Some 14.7% of Arab Israelis believe the Hamas terrorist group should govern Gaza after the war, in direct opposition to one of Jerusalem’s key war aims, according to a study the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies at Tel Aviv University presented on Wednesday.

That represents approximately 308,700 Israeli citizens out of an Arab Israeli population of around 2.1 million.

In contrast, some 8.4% of Arab Israelis say that Israel should govern the Gaza Strip after the war, which entered its 257th day on Wednesday.

The majority of respondents, 58.5%, felt that other Palestinian groups should govern Gaza. Broken down, about 24.4% believe that local bodies should be in charge, and 19.4% think that the Palestinian Authority should govern there, followed by Hamas at 14.7%.

Some 34.4% of respondents said that an external, non-Palestinian body should govern Gaza after the war. An international force is the preferred option with 19.4% support, while 8.4% chose Israel and 6.5% Arab states.

Other key findings include that nearly three-quarters of Arab Israelis reported a low sense of personal safety during the war. More than half the Arab-Israeli public—51.6%—say that there is a shared sense of destiny that has been created by the Israel-Hamas war.

The sense of a shared destiny shows a majority among members of all religions: 51.4% of Muslims, 62.5% of Druze and 61.2% of Christians.

Violence and crime are the No. 1 issues for Arab Israelis, the survey found.

A large majority (68.6%) support an Arab political party joining a governing coalition established after the next election.

A total of 502 citizens over the age of 18—a representative sample of the adult Arab population—were polled for the survey.

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