Nearly three in four Palestinians believe that Hamas was right in launching its Oct. 7 cross-border attack, in which terrorists savagely murdered more than 1,200 people in Israel and wounded thousands, according to the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research.
The Ramallah-based institute polled 1,231 Palestinian adults in the Gaza Strip, Judea and Samaria between Nov. 22 and Dec. 2. (The margin of error was plus or minus four percentage points, the PSR said.)
The authoritative survey—the second of its kind since Oct. 7—found that 72% of respondents think Hamas was “correct” in carrying out its mass slaughter, while 22% characterized the terrorist group’s decision to attack as “incorrect.”
A whopping 89% of the respondents denied that Palestinian terrorists committed war crimes on Oct. 7, while 95% claimed that Israel breached international law during its defensive operation against Hamas in Gaza.
When asked to rate their satisfaction with various Palestinian actors, Hamas took the lead among the respondents with 72% satisfaction, followed by Hamas chief in Gaza Yahya Sinwar (69%) and the Islamist group’s “political” leader, Ismail Haniyeh (51%).
If Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas would hold an election now, Hamas would receive 51% of the vote while Abbas’s Fatah faction would get the support of 19% of Palestinians.
According to the PSR, more than half believe that Hamas is “the most deserving of representing and leading the Palestinian people today.”
In a presidential runoff between Abbas and Haniyeh, the Hamas leader would receive 78% of the vote; 88% of Palestinians say Abbas needs to resign.
When asked by the PSR which party should rule the Gaza Strip after the Israeli military operation ends, 60% of the respondents selected Hamas.
Only 1% of those surveyed said they were satisfied with the role the U.S. has played in the conflict. In addition, two-thirds expressed opposition to the participation of the P.A. in meetings with the U.S.
During an Oct. 18 visit to Tel Aviv, U.S. President Joe Biden delivered a speech in which he claimed that “Hamas does not represent the Palestinian people.”
On Nov. 8, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that Gaza must be handed over to the P.A. following hostilities. The solution “must include Palestinian-led governance and Gaza unified with the West Bank under the Palestinian Authority,” stated Blinken.
A spokesperson for the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem told JNS last month that the future of the Palestinian leadership is “a question for the Palestinian people.”
On Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said there is no way the Palestinian Authority will be allowed to rule Gaza in a post-Hamas reality.
“The difference between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority is only that Hamas wants to destroy us here and now, and the P.A. wants to do it in stages,” said Netanyahu.