News / Middle East

Hamas Popularity Surges Over Gaza, Poll Finds

FILE - A new poll shows strong Palestinian support for Hamas' strategy of armed struggle against Israel. Palestinians carry the body of a Hamas militant killed in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City in August.
FILE - A new poll shows strong Palestinian support for Hamas' strategy of armed struggle against Israel. Palestinians carry the body of a Hamas militant killed in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City in August.
Reuters

Militant group Hamas would sweep Palestinian elections if they were held today after its support soared during seven weeks of war with Israel in Gaza, an opinion poll published Tuesday found.

The independent, nonprofit Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research said its poll showed Islamists clearly leading presidential and parliamentary polls. It marked the first time since Palestinians last voted eight years ago, when Hamas won power in Gaza.

Most Palestinians surveyed said they preferred Hamas' strategy of armed struggle against Israel rather than peace negotiations, which are favored by Fatah, once the dominant Palestinian political movement and one backed by the West.

The views, collected among over 1,000 Palestinians in Gaza and the Israeli-occupied West Bank, show an unprecedented popular shift toward Hamas as tensions with Fatah boil.

Fatah, a largely secular party that governs from Ramallah in the West Bank, accused Hamas on Saturday of putting hundreds of its supporters in Gaza under house arrest during the war and shooting at those who tried to flee Israeli bombings.

The two parties fought street battles in Gaza in 2007, a year after Hamas won parliamentary polls. The fighting left hundreds dead and hardened animosity between the parties.

No national elections planned

There have been no national elections since the split and there are no plans for any, despite steps taken in April to forge a unity government, including a consensus on policies.

The new poll showed Hamas' former premier, Ismail Haniyeh, would win 61 percent of votes in a two-way race against Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. The Fatah chief would take just 32 percent of the vote, the survey found.

More than half (53 percent) of respondents said an armed approach would help gain a Palestinian state, as opposed to 20 percent who said they supported non-violent means.

Ensconced in Gaza, Hamas has waged three wars against Israel while Fatah has pursued on-off talks, mediated by the United States, which so far have failed to secure an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza.

Hamas' charter does not recognize Israel and seeks a state in the whole of ancient Palestine, including Israel.

Suspicion between Fatah and Hamas grew earlier this month after Israel's internal security service said it foiled a Hamas plot to launch a coup in the West Bank. Abbas has called for an investigation, while Hamas denies any plot.

A rare rally Saturday by thousands of Hamas supporters in Ramallah passed without incident under the watchful eyes of plain-clothes Fatah forces, although the Islamists complained that several of its backers were arrested afterward.

You May Like

Brutality Eroding IS Financial Support

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper says IS's penchant for publicizing beheadings, other brutal forms of punishment hurts group’s bottom line More

Studies: Climate Change a Factor in Disasters in Syria, California

The studies point to the possibility of clear and present dangers from a threat often considered to be far in the future More

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials and human rights organizations assert that Pakistani authorities are using deadly attack at school in Peshawar as pretext to push out Afghan refugees More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Mark from: Virgiinia
September 02, 2014 1:56 PM
If the Gaza population likes to be used as human shields, more power to them. It sounds as if the whole lot of them are willing to 'pay in blood' to see the end of Israel, and Hamas seems willing to spill the civilian population's blood without thinking twice.I cannot fathom how any single group of people (Palestinians) could so utterly hate another group (Israelis) so much, that they are willing to die to see the other group destroyed. Such reckless blind hatred is not in the realm of a sane individual of sound mind.

I view Hamas as cowardly, not even close to legendary status, if they would use the people around them as shields. Perhaps it is my upbringing, and experience in the military, that you stand and face your foe, not hide behind the skirts of unarmed civilians. Then, to slaughter anyone believed to aid the 'enemy', even on barely circumstantial evidence as someone Else's word, they would execute their own people. Hamas rules by fear, and they will only stay in power as long as the populace fears them. Any showing of courage and resistance against what Hamas wants, and the resisters are killed. That is not how one governs. Hamas must fear its own ability to stay in power, as most dictators do, suspecting everyone and killing anyone who opposes their will. Either that, or they are simply blood-thirsty savages. In either case, they are not Legendary. Not even close.Except in the mind of Islamists. Takes a blood thirsty savage to know one.

That independent non-profit Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research's opinions are clearly swayed and hardly unbiased.
With that sort of thinking, I see no future for Palestinians, as their children will be dead after being used as human shields, if Hamas has their way. Along with the in-fighting between Hamas and Fatah, they are a doomed people. Secular power struggles divides a people and creates more bodies... more 'blood to spill' for the 'cause'.

by: meanbill from: USA
September 02, 2014 11:27 AM
Truth be told... Hamas has become legendary in the Islamic world, and the myth of Israel's invincibility has been debunked, and the Palestinians see a different future for themselves and their children, and they know freedom is possible if they are willing to pay the cost of it with their blood... (Watch out for the Israeli broken promises, though?).... (at least the world is watching what Israel does now).

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukrainei
X
March 03, 2015 3:11 AM
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukraine

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Prepare to Defend Mariupol

Despite the ongoing ceasefire in Ukraine, soldiers in the city of Mariupol fear that pro-Russian separatists may be getting ready to attack. The separatists must take or encircle the city if they wish to gain land access to Crimea, which was annexed by Russia early last year. But Ukrainian forces, many of them volunteers, say they are determined to defend it. Patrick Wells reports from Mariupol.
Video

Video Moscow Restaurants Suffer in Bad Economy, Look for Opportunity

As low oil prices and Western sanctions force Russia's economy into recession, thousands of Moscow restaurants are expected to close their doors. Restaurant owners face rents tied to foreign currency, while rising food prices mean Russians are spending less when they dine out. One entrepreneur in Moscow has started a dinner kit delivery service for those who want to cook at home to save money but not skimp on quality. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video US, Cuba Report Progress in Latest Talks to Restore Ties

The United States and Cuba say they have made progress in the second round of talks on restoring diplomatic relations more than 50 years after breaking off ties. Delegations from both sides met in Washington on Friday to work on opening embassies in Havana and Washington and iron out key obstacles to historic change. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas reports from the State Department.
Video

Video Presidential Hopefuls Battle for Conservative Hearts and Minds

One after another, presumptive Republican presidential contenders auditioned for conservative support this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference held outside Washington. The rhetoric was tough as a large field of potential candidates tried to woo conservative support with red-meat attacks on President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress. VOA Political Columnist Jim Malone takes a look.
Video

Video NYC's Restaurant Week: An Economic Boom in Fine Dining

New Yorkers take pride in setting world trends — in fashion, the arts and fine dining. The city’s famous biannual Restaurant Week plays a significant role in a booming tourism industry that sustains 359,000 jobs and generates $61 billion in yearly revenue. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports.
Video

Video Brookhaven at Cutting Edge of US Energy Research

Issues like the Keystone XL pipeline, fracking and instability in the Middle East are driving debate in the U.S. about making America energy independent. Recently, the American Energy Innovation Council urged Congress and the White House to make expanded energy research a priority. One beneficiary of increased energy spending would be the Brookhaven National Lab, where clean, renewable, efficient energy is the goal. VOA's Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Southern US Cities Preserve Civil Rights Heritage to Boost Tourism

There has been a surge of interest in the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s, thanks in part to the Hollywood motion picture "Selma." Five decades later, communities in the South are embracing the dark chapters of their past with hopes of luring tourism dollars. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More