Poll: Palestinians Back Hamas Rockets, but Not Its Leadership

Palestinians in Gaza largely support the Hamas terrorist group and its indiscriminate and unprovoked rocket fire into Israeli population centers but have problems with the leadership they have been displaying as of late, according to a new poll.

The Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research released a poll on Tuesday that showed about 50% of Gazans wanted to leave the Hamas-controlled territory. Only about 25% of Palestinians in the West Bank, however, wanted to uproot from their settlements.

Khalil Shikaki, who heads the polling institute, said that the 50% number is the highest he had ever seen, The Times of Israel reports. 

“Gaza is definitely showing tremendous frustration,” said Shikaki, whose survey indicated that 63% of Gazans were not happy with the “achievements compared to human and material losses” in the summer 2014 war between Israel and Hamas, which resulted in over 2,000 Palestinians killed. Gaza also experienced a large number of civilian deaths, which some attribute to its guerrilla tactics that called for using women and children as human cover to launch their attacks.

But 63% of Gazans support more rocket attacks at Israel, according to the polling results. The survey results also showed that 63% support a long-term ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, but only if Israel lifts the blockade against the terrorist-run territory.

The Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research found that only about one-third of residents of both the West Bank and Gaza felt they could criticize their leadership without repercussions. Hamas has ruled the Gaza Strip since January of 2006 and has not held any elections since. Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah party have controlled the West Bank since 2005. Both parties have indefinitely delayed any further elections.


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