Palestinian Attitudes Turning More and More Against Hamas

Aug 25, 2008 Published under Mideast Negotiations, Palestine

Results of an Opinion Poll: Hamas and the Truce, the Government, Security Campaigns, The Peace Process and Elections
Publication Date: 18 August 2008
Dr. Nader Said

Field work: 6-8 August 2008
Sample Size: 1200 Young Palestinians (16-25 years) in the West Bank & Gaza
Margin of error: + 3


This poll took place during the final days of fighting between the Executive Force of the Hamas-led government and the Helles family in Gaza. The violence followed a number of explosions that took place in various locations in Gaza City, leading to the killing of 6 Palestinians, most of them from Hamas’ military wing. The subsequent fighting led to the killing of 11 Palestinians, among them were two Hamas fighters and eight members of the Helles family. AWRAD’s field work had to be postponed during the early period of heavy fighting, as the movement in Gaza was highly restricted by Hamas. Some areas selected to be included in the poll were out of reach and dangerous. The reality on the ground in Gaza led to shifts in public opinion towards Hamas and Fateh at the same time, confirming the fact that both factions are losing in Gaza, most especially Hamas. 
Moreover, months of discussions and negotiations have produced no visible progress on key issues of the conflict such as Jerusalem, refugees and borders.  Furthermore, no signs of hope have followed the announcement of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s resignation.


This poll shows the following significant findings and trends:
·            President Abbas enjoys a 63% approval rate, 18 points higher than Haniya.
·            The popularity of Haniya and Hamas in both the West Bank and Gaza declined immediately after the Helles neighborhood fighting.
·            The positive evaluation of Haniya’s government decreased from 55% to 46%.
·            The positive evaluation of the Fayyad government increased from 46% to 55%.
·            Intent of voting for Fateh increased from 47% to 53%; intent of voting for Hamas decreased from 37% to 29%.
·            35% believe that Fateh is more capable in leading the Palestinian society; 17% believe that Hamas is more capable.
·            Abbas, Fayyad, Marwan Al Barghouti or Mustafa Barghouthi could defeat Haniya in a presidential election.
·            93% of Gazans say that economic conditions in the Strip have worsened or have not improved.
·            57% of Gazans feel that the security situation has deteriorated or stayed the same.
·            59% of West Bank respondents believe that the security agencies are fighting crime more effectively now than before.
·            65% say that they are witnessing less car theft now than before.
·            74% support carrying out a legislative election now.
·            92% experience no improvement in the quality of their lives after the Annapolis Meeting.
·            64% believe that the current negotiations will not lead to a Palestinian state.
·            Still, 63% support the continuation of negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis.
·            61% believe that Hamas should continue to commit to the truce.
·            52% support that Hamas prevents rockets attacks, while 42% are opposed.
With support from the International Republican Institute (IRI) and the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI)
more information, please contact Team Leader – Dr. Nader Said, or visit our website:
AWRAD – Arab World for Research & Development
Ramallah – Gaza, Palestine

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