According to a Palestinian opinion poll released Tuesday, an overwhelming majority of Palestinians are in favor of the recent round of terror attacks against Israeli civilians in and around Jerusalem.
The Washington Post reports that the poll also showed a majority of Palestinians supporting a new intifada, or uprising, against Israel. In addition, if elections were held today among Palestinians, Hamas would be the victorious party.
The poll was conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PCPSR), which interviewed 1,270 people in the West Bank and Gaza last week. The poll’s margin of error is 3 percent.
Among other findings, the poll showed that 80% of respondents support, and 20% oppose, attempts by individual Palestinians to stab or run over Israelis in Jerusalem and the rest of the West Bank. That figure comes after a spate of such attacks against Israeli Jews, including last month’s massacre of Jewish men at prayer at a synagogue in the Har Nof neighborhood of Jerusalem and several incidents of Palestinians using their cars to run over Israelis.
Khalil Shikaki, who heads the PCPSR, attributed the results to Palestinian anger over the statements of some Israeli leaders advocating increased Jewish access to the Temple Mount, as well as a loss of hope following the collapse of U.S.-brokered peace talks and Israel’s recent war with Hamas in the Gaza Strip. The Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site, is also the location of the al-Aqsa Mosque. Jewish access to the site is severely restricted, and Jewish prayer on the site is forbidden by its Muslim administrators.
Palestinian leaders have incited their public with far-fetched claims that Israel plans to take over the site, a claim Israel denies. The incitement has been effective, as the poll found 86 percent of respondents believe the shrine is in grave danger from Israel.
On other subjects, the poll also found that the level of Palestinian belief that Hamas won the Gaza War fell from 69% three months ago to 66% in this poll; in the Gaza Strip, only 58% say Hamas came out the winner. In addition, in the Gaza Strip, 66% are dissatisfied with the war’s achievements.
Still, an overwhelming 77% majority of Palestinians supports the launching of rockets from the Gaza Strip at Israel if Israel does not end its Gaza blockade.
A 79% majority favors the “Hamas way” of resisting occupation; 62% favor the transfer of Hamas’ armed approach to the West Bank and 36% oppose it.
The poll also showed that if new presidential elections were held today between Hamas’s Ismail Haniyeh and Fatah’s Mahmoud Abbas, Haniyeh would win 53% to 42%. If there were new legislative elections, Hamas would defeat Fatah by a similar margin.