Palestinian support for Hamas rises

Support for armed struggle to resist Israel’s 57-year occupation has climbed from 46 to 54 per cent over the past three months

A man sorts through clothing salvaged from the rubble of a destroyed dress shop hit by an Israeli bombardment in Gaza City. Photograph: Omar Al-Qattaa/AFP via Getty Images

Palestinian support for armed struggle to resist Israel’s 57-year occupation has climbed from 46 to 54 per cent over the past three months, according to the latest opinion poll in Gaza and the West Bank.

The detailed survey by Ramallah-based Palestinian Centre for Policy and Survey Research (PSR) was conducted between May 26th and June 1st among 1,570 adults, of whom half were West Bank residents and half Gazans. Wartime polls were previously released by PSR in December and March.

Support for Hamas’s attack on Israel on October 7th was at 71 per cent while nearly 80 per cent believed the raid has projected Palestine on to the global agenda after decades of neglect and inaction. During the attack, 1,200 people were killed and another 250 abducted, according to Israeli tallies.

PSR research head Walid Ladadweh said the boost for Hamas and armed action was a response to Israel’s subsequent offensive, in which more than 37,000 Gazans have been killed, according to Hamas-run health authorities.


Overall backing for Hamas has risen by six percentage points in the last three months to 40 per cent while Fatah, headed by Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas – who relied on negotiations to deliver statehood – garnered 20 per cent support.

A total of 61 per cent of respondents (down from 63 per cent) considered the two-state solution no longer feasible due to settler expansion. Negotiations on the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel ended a decade ago and Israeli settlements have since mushroomed in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

About 94 per cent of West Bankers and 83 per cent of Gazans want Abbas to resign.

Nearly 80 per cent of Gazans reported at least one family member has been killed or injured in the current war while 64 per cent said they have enough food to last a day or two, an improvement on the figure of 44 per cent three months ago. However, 72 per cent in southern Gaza said they could reach supplies only “with great difficulty or risk” and 2 per cent said they cannot reach a place where they can get help to receive food.

An overall majority of 63 per cent (compared to 64 per cent in March) blamed Israel for Gaza’s suffering, 22 per cent (up from 20 per cent) held the United States responsible and 8 per cent (compared to 7 per cent) blamed Hamas. Among Gazans, there has been a rise from 9 per cent to 10 per cent between the second and third surveys.

Nearly all Palestinians (97 per cent) argued Israel has committed war crimes while 9 per cent (5 per cent in March) thought Hamas also committed war crimes. Three-quarters believed the International Court of Justice would not halt Israel’s Rafah offensive because the US would protect Israel, while 71 per cent said International Criminal Court warrants would not result in arrests of Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu and defence minister Yoav Gallant for alleged war crimes.

Some 46 per cent of Gazans and 62 per cent of West Bankers said Hamas would control Gaza after the war, compared with 59 per cent in both areas in March.

Michael Jansen

Michael Jansen

Michael Jansen contributes news from and analysis of the Middle East to The Irish Times