Palestinian attitudes have undergone a “paradigm shift” in favor of Hamas, according to a new study.
The survey, conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, found that 53 percent of Palestinians now agree with the statement “Hamas is most deserving of representing and leading the Palestinian people,” versus only 14 percent who say the same of Fatah, led by Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas.
The study also found the “overwhelming majority of Palestinians” (77 percent) believe that Hamas won the recent conflict with Israel. Eighteen percent said neither side won, and 2 percent said both won. Only 1 percent believed Israel had emerged the victor.
The vast majority, 94 percent, said they were proud of the Gaza Strip’s performance during the May conflict, with 39 percent explaining they were proud because Gaza had delivered a strike in defense of Jerusalem and exposed the weakness of the Israeli army. Another 39 percent said they were proud because Gaza had returned the Palestinian cause to the “forefront of Arab and international politics.” Thirteen percent said they were proud because Gaza had suffered with “patience and dignity in defense of Jerusalem.”
The poll also found a spike in support for a return to armed conflict, rising sharply to 60 percent. Support for a return to negotiations and confidence that diplomacy was the most effective means to achieve Palestinian goals dropped.