Thursday, February 5, 2009

Palestinian Opinion Poll: Increasing support for Hamas, Haniyeh the most trusted Palestinian politician, majority now supports rocket launches

In the wake of the Gaza massacre, the Jerusalem Media and Communications Center has released an interesting opinion poll. The polls consists of 1,198 interviews with randomly selected residents in the West Bank and Gaza, and is a follow-up on earlier political opinion polls.

The poll shows that 28.6% of respondents said that they intended to vote for Hamas in Legislative Council elections (if held today), as compared to 27.9% for Fatah and 14.6% for other parties. In November 2008 a similar question had been asked, then 36.8% had said they would have voted for Fatah (40% in Gaza) and 19.5% said they would have voted for Hamas (22.5% in Gaza).

A slightly differently worded question asked which political faction had the most trust amongst the respondents. In November 2008 Fatah had led with 31.3% of the respondents having most trust in them, followed by Hamas (16.6%), Islamic Jihad (2.4%) and the PFLP (2.3%). In January 2009 Hamas has overtaken the leading position, being the most trusted party amongst 27.7% of respondents. The runner-up is Fatah (26%), followed by the PFLP (3.3%) and Islamic Jihad (2.8%). Trust for Hamas has more than doubled in the West Bank.

In November 2008 the most trusted politician was Mahmoud Abbas, having the support of 15.9% of the respondents. In January 2009, the most trusted politician is Ismail Haniyeh. Haniyeh gets the trust of 21.1% (up from 13.8% in November 2008), compared to 13.4% trusting Abbas. In both the November 2008 and January 2009 surveys, Marwan Barghouti is the third most trusted politician.

50.8% of respondents (52.8% in the West Bank, 47.3% in Gaza) said that rocket launches from Gaza into Israel helped the Palestinian cause, whilst 20.8% (16.2% in the West Bank, 28.6% in Gaza) considered them harmful. In April 2008, 39.3% (34.6% in the West Bank, 47.4% in Gaza) of respondents had stated that rocket launches from Gaza was a useful form of resistance, whilst 35.7% (38.3% in West Bank, 31.2% in Gaza) considered them futile.

89% of respondents said that they were satisfied with Turkey's role during the bombings, whilst 80% were satisfied with the role of Venezuela. 96.3% were dissatisfied with the role of the United States.

News links: 1, 2, 3, 4

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